This week has not been a good one for Bristol. It has received probably to most news coverage it’s ever had within that time frame and not for good reasons.
Firstly, this week body parts were found in the search for missing teenager Becky Watts. It was also reported that the 16-year-old’s stepbrother Nathan Matthews, 28, has been charged with her murder, while his girlfriend Shauna Hoare, 21, is up for a charge of perverting the course of justice. Another 4 individuals, aged between 23 and 29, have been accused of helping to conceal the body parts after being questioned by police.
Becky was missing for 11 days, before her body was found in Barton Hill on Monday evening.
For the majority of her disappearance, the investigation was treated as just that, a disappearance. It meant there was still hope; hope that she was still alive somewhere. So, the news that it had turned into a murder enquiry did come as a shock.
The case got me thinking – what kind of people do we live around? How can any person kill someone, especially a child and especially a family member!? And then have the amount of disrespect to carry out even more harm to the body and dismember it? It’s a little relief that they have charged someone for it.
A memorial for Becky was held at St George’s park this morning. It was reported that nearly 400 people turned up to release coloured balloons and hold a silence in her memory.
The six people who have been charged will appear at Bristol Crown Court on March 26th.
The second story covered the disappearance of 29-year-old Bristol man Michael Graydon. He had travelled to France with his friend Adrian O’Connor, to promote and watch a boxing match. The night before they went to a nightclub in Nice, where they got into an altercation with a group of men and it was reported that Michael ran off. The following day he didn’t turn up to the boxing match, which was when his friend Adrian told the police. His body was found this week, on Friday 6th March, at the bottom of a ravine in Monaco. A man involved in the nightclub dispute has apparently been questioned by police but released without charge.
This case seems even closer to home for me, as during these past weeks, my Facebook feed has been filled with links to help the search for Michael and it even looks like even some of my family knew him and his family. He was a father and husband. It is yet another tragedy and sad loss for Bristol.
But just when it seemed that the city had suffered enough, another murder was reported in Yate.
Jason Betts, 38, was found unconscious in his home, and died later after being taken to Southmead Hospital. A post mortem confirmed that his death was due to head injuries and it is being treated as suspicious. Unlike the other cases, it seems this one may not last as long; a man from has already been taken in for questioning.
Let’s hope the heartache stops here for Bristol and everyone affected can take solace in the fact that justice is being served. My thoughts go out to all the families who have lost a loved one in this tragic week.
More information about these cases can be read on the Bristol Post website.