WEEK 1 completed
We now know who is charged with what and their court pleas regarding the vile killing of young innocent Becky Watts don’t we? We can only speculate how the next few weeks will go and what will be revealed – we do know that there will be a legal battle and we won’t be surprised if a few lies are thrown in here and there, eh? So what do we need to understand then?
Murder – a homicide committed when a sane person unlawfully kills somebody with intent to kill or cause grievous bodily harm.
Nathan Matthews is charged with murder. Apparently he will admit to strangling the sixteen year old Becky (his stepsister), but nevertheless he claims it was not murder (which carries a mandatory life sentence). He has to ‘prove’ nothing but the prosecution will have to prove ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ that it was. He is expected to admit to manslaughter (sentence can be minimal). He has pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice, preventing the lawful burial of Becky Watts and possessing two stun guns.
Manslaughter – a homicide that would apply when the killing is accidental, or when there is diminished responsibility or there has been a loss of control. Matthews would need to provide satisfactory evidence of that for such a defence to be valid.
Girlfriend Shauna Hoare is also charged with the murder, which she denies along with all the other four charges against her. The prosecution will doubtlessly be providing evidence of her whereabouts at the actual time of Becky’s killing and to what extent it was a joint enterprise. She cannot claim Matthews forced her to take part, as ‘duress’ is not a valid defence to a murder charge, is it? Her alleged involvement in the dismemberment and disposal of Becky’s remains will be subject to detailed scrutiny, won’t it?
Kidnap – is an offence against the person involving seizing, carrying away or false imprisonment.
Matthews and Hoare are both charged with conspiracy to kidnap Becky and both deny it (convictions can carry a heavy sentence).
Donovan Demetrius, and James Ireland, have both pleaded not guilty to assisting an offender, while Karl Demetrius and Jaydene Parker admit the offence but claim they didn’t suspect they were hiding a missing girl’s body (assisting a killer warrants a much bigger sentence than just assisting a petty criminal, doesn’t it?).
This trial will now chunter on for a few weeks before we will hear the detail explanations from the defence teams acting for the accused – only then will we get a clear idea where things are going.
[Becky Watts’ memory remains important –her family and friends are wearing a blue ribbon in her memory during the trial]