Published: Friday 30th October 2015 by The News Editor
The woman accused with her boyfriend Nathan Matthews of murdering teenager Becky Watts has told a court of suffering “terrifying” violence at his hands.
Shauna Hoare, 21, claimed 28-year-old Matthews strangled her during an argument and also pulled her hair, pushed her against a door and would shout and scream at her.
Hoare – who is accused alongside her boyfriend of a sexually motivated kidnap plot to murder 16-year-old Becky – described to the jury incidents during their six-year relationship.
“We were arguing over something. I sat on the end of the bed and he just lost it and grabbed me by the hair and pulled me to the other side of the bed,” Hoare told Bristol Crown Court.
“I said I had stomach pains and ran to the bathroom and he followed me. (He was) very, very sorry.”
Hoare also described an earlier argument with Matthews in which she told him to leave and he started stabbing himself with a fork.
“Again we were having a big argument and shouting and I’d had enough and told him to leave,” she said.
“He was eating something and had a fork in his hand and he jumped on me – not hurting me – and started stabbing himself in the chest and was scrapping the fork down his face.”
Asked by Andrew Langdon QC, defending, her reaction to that, Hoare replied: “Terrifying.”
Describing an incident when he strangled her, Hoare said: “During another row he almost ran at me and put his hands round my neck and strangled me.”
Asked how she felt, Hoare replied: “Horrible, I couldn’t breathe, I felt panic, I was scared.
“He always apologised but not always right away… It would take a while. He would explain that it was the way I was annoying him.
“We didn’t go out for a day or two until the red mark around my neck was gone.”
Hoare also told the court that she knew if Matthews was going to get violent because the tone of his voice changed.
“He had a tone of voice, you kind of get to know it from the violence,” she said.
“He would be shouting, clench his fists and would step forward and throw something at you but he wouldn’t actually hit me.
“(I felt) scared because I didn’t know what he was going to do. I’ve seen him argue with other people but not in the way that I have described.”
Matthews, of Hazelbury Drive, Warmley, South Gloucestershire, denies murder and conspiracy to kidnap.
He admits killing Becky, perverting the course of justice, preventing the burial of a corpse and possessing a prohibited weapon.
Hoare, of Cotton Mill Lane, Bristol, denies murder, conspiracy to kidnap, perverting the course of justice, preventing burial of a corpse and possessing a prohibited weapon.
The residents of the Barton Court property, Karl Demetrius, 30, and his partner Jaydene Parsons, 23, admit assisting an offender.
Donovan Demetrius – Karl’s twin brother – of Marsh Lane, Bristol, and James Ireland, 23, of Richmond Villas, Avonmouth – a work colleague of Karl’s – deny the charge.
Hoare also described to the court an incident in which Matthews lost his temper at a GP surgery and punched a wall – breaking his fingers.
“Nathan wanted help with his mental health. He was getting annoyed because he couldn’t get his words out. He was afraid the doctor would tell social services.
“Then he just exploded, I heard the bang and apologised to the doctor.”
Hoare also said that Matthews could be “very funny” and during their six-year relationship they had good times and bad times, which depended on his mood.
But she told the jury that he would control what food she ate and at times she would have to “beg”, Hoare insisted.
“The majority of the time I would ask for something and he would say no so I would continue to ask – almost begging in a sense,” she said.
“It could be a sandwich, some sort of pastry or a drink. Some of the time he would say it had too much fat and I needed to lose weight.”
Mr Langdon asked his client about evidence heard during the trial of takeaways being ordered, such as pizza.
“If he wanted something he was a lot more likely to say yes,” Hoare explained.
The court heard that she started smoking at 13 and Matthews did not like her habit and she would have to pay him.
“I would pay him £5 a week for him to allow me to have one pack of cigarettes,” she said.
“At the beginning I would buy them but as time went on Nathan would buy them or I would take money out of the bank card and buy cigarettes.
“I would hide the cigarettes. Towards the end of the relationship I would take cigarettes to the shop and smoke and I would always have moisturiser for my hands, perfume and chewing gum in my bag to disguise the smell.
“If he was in a good mood and I was quite persistent he would allow me to smoke. He might have just woken up and just generally been in a good mood.”
The jury heard Hoare say that she wanted to leave Matthews two years ago but could not, telling the court: “I had nowhere else to go, I had no one else and he would find out and it would go back to normal.
“If he found me he would be very angry.”
Mr Langdon asked Hoare about a threesome she and Matthews had with a female friend, asking her who was “into it” more.
Hoare replied: “Nathan.”
She also said she had experimented sexually with another girl when she was younger.
She said: “I was 13 or 14, it was another girl and it lasted a week – just kissing and on-top-of-clothes fondling.
“I exaggerated a lot of it to make myself seem more exciting and appealing to him.”
Published: Friday 30th October 2015 by The News Editor