The trial of hateful Nathan Matthews and his evil girlfriend Shauna Hoare was a shocking and distressing exposé, which even upset the experienced Bristol High Court Judge in charge.
Remorseless, cold-blooded Matthews, unsurprisingly pleading ‘not guilty’ of murder (they all do) with a ridiculous defence to boot, despite his victims forty injuries, but was duly convicted for Becky Watts’ murder, got sentenced to Life with a 33 year tariff (only 3 years more than the start point – when he might reasonably have been given a full life term), but he was given no separate penalty for his convictions of Conspiracy to Kidnap, or Perverting the Course of Justice, or Preventing a Lawful Burial (why not a jail term, eh?).
Similarly, Hoare, despite her ‘unbelievable’ denials of any wrongdoing whatsoever, was nevertheless unanimously convicted on circumstantial evidence by the Jury of Manslaughter (rather than murder) and got 17 years, plus concurrent sentences of 10 years for Conspiracy to Kidnap, 2 years for Perverting the Course of Justice, 3 years for Preventing a Lawful Burial, and only 2 years (‘unlawful’ really, as should have been 5 as the ‘mandatory’ minimum without exceptional circumstances?) for Possession of a prohibited weapon of 2 stun guns (why however are these ‘concurrent’ sentences any punishment, when she doesn’t do even an extra day in jail, you may well ask?).
Since the Trial, more damning information about the duo have been published, important information which amongst other things no doubt, was withheld from the Jury by legal arguments by the Defences before evidence was given – like Matthews’ boast of skills that meant he could easily kill and his interest in the morgue and messing with bodies through his TA involvement, his admission to Hoare’s relative that if he committed murder he would dismember the body, and reports of Hoare having a lesbian lover in jail when she claimed in Court not to having any recent interest in sexual contact with other females, eh?
Where does it all go from here then? Well, while Matthews will find it hard to argue with the 3 year uplift imposed on the basic 30 sentence, nevertheless he will probably appeal (nothing to lose really and we all pay for it as well, not him), but without doubt in the circumstances he will not get far, will he?
You can certainly expect Hoare to appeal on both conviction and particularly on the manslaughter sentence, which was quite a lengthy one, despite her claims she had no intention to kill or cause really serious harm to Becky and knew nothing about anything. The Judge heard it all of course, but her smart arsed lawyers will no doubt find a way of lodging such an appeal (at their exorbitant rates and our expense naturally – that is what our flawed justice system allows, you see). It would be surprising though if the Court of Appeal would interfere with the sentence, wouldn’t it?
Either appeal can only be based on a claim that an important court procedure wasn’t followed properly, or there is new evidence now available regarding the convictions
[These potential appeals are always on the cards – what real justice then for Becky Watts, do you think? The duo have just more than a week now to get appeal permission from Trial Judge Mr Justice Dingemans (which seems unlikely by his involvement in hearing all the evidence), otherwise they will need to apply to a judge through the Criminal Appeal Office ]