Friday November 13
As planned, the convicted killers Nathan Matthews and his girlfriend Shauna Hoare were earlier today sentenced by the trial Judge to now hopefully conclude this horrible six week trial about the killing of innocent youngster Becky Watts. What do we think about the Judge’s decisions? Too harsh, too lenient, or just correct? Did the pair get away with the full consequences of such a vile murder? What do we think, eh?
This man, Matthews, who callously carried out the actual physical deed of the killing of his stepsister Becky (according to the Judge, intentionally and using very considerable force), was given a mandatory Life Sentence with a minimum of 33 years to be served for the murder – so it has been seen by the Judge as a terrible crime (and classified as of particularly high seriousness, but not of exceptionally high seriousness).
That woman, Hoare, convicted of the associated manslaughter of sixteen year old Becky received a 17 years jail sentence for that crime, although it could have been life (but the Judge didn’t think that would be appropriate).
Nothing has been reported about their punishment for their other convictions (kidnap, perverting justice, preventing a burial, and prohibited weapon possession), so perhaps we have to assume that the Judge has simply rolled it all into one?
In giving out the sentences, he said he was sure on the evidence that their planned kidnap of Becky was for a sexual purpose, and they must have known it couldn’t stop at that.
The Judge had earlier warned that he would take into account the cruel and unusual way they behaved when the dismembered body was in their house while the family and police looked for her, and Hoare herself had maintained a complete refusal to be frank throughout.
Matthews’ barrister had argued against a whole life order, as he was not a multiple killer, and there were now only eight others in that position who had got whole life and were currently serving time. Also he thought Matthews should be given credit for being emotional in court (the rest of us saw his theatrical acting in breaking-down, sobbing and hand wringing and the like, as a cynical attempt to gain sympathy from the Jury, didn’t we?). It seemed to be implied that he should be sympathised with because by murdering Becky he had destroyed his relationship with his mother (sounds like a joke but it isn’t funny). The Judge pointed out that Matthews had not pleaded guilty, which he could have done.
Hoare’s barrister argued that it was Matthews’ influence on her that had caused her to commit the offences, so she was another victim of his, and suggested that she only played a subordinate role.
An impact statement had earlier been read out on behalf of Becky’s Dad – it said his daughter ‘never stood a chance’. Becky’s Mum also gave a long moving statement. Becky’s family cried, but Matthews simply kept his head down, while emotionless Hoare sat upright staring ahead throughout.
The Judge displayed some emotional feelings in making a tribute for Becky’s family’s overwhelming suffering throughout the Trial, reflecting the abhorrent nature of it.
Not a single word of apology has been uttered or written by Matthews, has it? The same applies to Hoare as well. No remorse for their grotesque actions from either of them – why not? Hoare has lied throughout all the investigations and at trial, and now despite being found guilty of all charges except murder (manslaughter instead) is confessing nothing (is that to help her possible future appeal, do you think?).
Matthews could have received a whole life tariff (others did, despite what his barrister had implied – Matthews’s crime exactly like John McGrady identified below), but nevertheless he will be 61 before he can be given parole – still young enough though to be able to commit further such crimes (and many released murders do), so in reality will he be allowed out even then?
Hoare’s 17 years sentence will probably mean she is a free woman in less than nine years time, before she is 30, ready to restart her sad life – is that really enough punishment for Becky’s death? (Becky won’t be around then will she?).
Unfortunately, Karl Demetrius and his girlfriend Jaydene Parsons, who had previously admitted hiding the body parts, will not be sentenced until February (as Parsons will not be fit enough to attend court until then).
[Whole lifers in jail for a single killing are Victor Miller (14 year old boy murdered – but is suspected of 30 others); Phillip Heggarty (murdered a friend and burned the body); Thomas McDowell (strangled and cut up a man); Viktor Dembovskis (a Latvian who raped and murdered a 17 year old schoolgirl neighbour); John McGrady (strangled a 16 year old girl and dismembered her); John Maden (drugged, raped, and killed his 12 year old niece); Mark Bridger (abducted and murdered a 5 year old girl); John Reynolds (lured a 17 year old girl to his home and murdered her); Anwar Rosser (murdered a sleeping 4 year old boy); Michael Adebolajo (one of the killers of British soldier Lee Rigby)]