England

Becky Watts case: Stepbrother and girlfriend questioned for murder

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Media captionThe parents of Becky, 16, have said they are "devastated" at the discovery, as Fiona Lamdin reports

Police have until this afternoon to question two people suspected of murdering missing teenager Becky Watts.

Becky's stepbrother Nathan Matthews, 28, and his girlfriend Shauna Phillips, 21, have been named locally as those being held on suspicion of her murder.

Ms Philips was taken to hospital after "feeling unwell in custody", Avon and Somerset Police said.

Four other men and a woman, all in their 20s, were arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender.

Police were granted a further 24 hours to question the five by Bristol magistrates on Wednesday.

"We can confirm that the woman in custody arrested on suspicion of the murder of Becky Watts was taken to hospital [on Tuesday] night after feeling unwell in custody," a force spokesman said.

She was seen by a doctor and taken back a short time later.

Police had until about 15:00 GMT to either charge or release Mr Matthews and Ms Phillips.

Image copyright facebook
Image caption Nathan Matthews and Shauna Phillips were arrested at the weekend

Becky was last seen on 19 February. On Tuesday, body parts were found at a house in Barton Hill, Bristol.

Det Supt Mike Courtiour, of Avon and Somerset Police, said officers went to a house at Barton Court in the Barton Hill area of the city after receiving new information on Monday night.

He said the latest five arrests - two men aged 29, two aged 23 and a woman aged 23 - were made as a result of the finding of body parts. All seven arrested people remain in police custody.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Floral tributes have been left outside Becky's home in St George, Bristol

Becky's mother Tania, grandmother Pat and brother Daniel Watts released a joint statement following the discovery.

"We are devastated to be told of this latest development," it read.

"We are at an utter loss to understand why anyone would want to hurt our beautiful Becky in such a brutal way."

Father Darren Galsworthy and stepmother Anjie added in a separate statement that the news about their "dear daughter" was "too much to bear".

Image copyright Bristol 247
Image caption A private ambulance arrived at Barton Court on Tuesday afternoon

St Ambrose Church near the family home is to be opened from 10:30 to 21:00 on Wednesday and Thursday for people to light candles in the 16-year-old's memory.

A book of condolence has also been placed there.

The Bishop of Bristol, the Right Reverend Mike Hill, said: "This is just a shocking, shocking business, and what it must be like for her poor family I cannot begin to imagine.

"The family have acted with great dignity. The family have made reference to the fact that it will be the people around them who will get them through this and I think they publicly thanked people for the level of support they've got.

"It beggars belief to know what they (the family) are going through and it sounds like today is going to be another difficult day as well."


Timeline of Becky's disappearance

  • Friday 20 February - Becky is reported missing at 16:00 after her family says she was last seen at her home the previous morning
  • Tuesday 24 February - Her father Darren Galsworthy and grandmother Pat Watts appeal for Becky to get in touch. Meanwhile, the nearby nature reserve at Troopers Hill is searched
  • Wednesday 25 February - Becky's home in Crown Hill, St George, is searched
  • Friday 27 February - Search continues as police divers scour a lake in St George
  • Saturday 28 February - Two people are arrested in connection with Becky's disappearance
  • Monday 2 March - A 28-year-old man and a 21-year-old woman held since Saturday are further arrested on suspicion of the kidnap and murder of Becky
  • Tuesday 3 March - Police announce they have discovered body parts at a home in Barton Court and arrest a further five people on suspicion of assisting an offender

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