Two people jailed for life for the murder of Bethany Hill

26/01/2017

Jack Williams and Kayleigh Woods have today been jailed for life, each to serve a minimum of 26 years, after they were both found guilty of the murder of 20-year-old Bethany Hill whose body was found in a flat in Stratford-upon-Avon.

A jury at Warwick Crown Court heard how on 3 February 2016, police received a call from Kayleigh Woods to report that her friend had killed herself in the bathroom of their flat.

Police arrived at 31 Hertford Road where they discovered the victim's body. Paramedics arrived soon after and concluded that Bethany had been dead for some time. She had a large wound to her neck.

Officers were dispatched to speak with Woods, who was waiting near the scene. She told the police that Bethany had been suicidal and had been trying to harm herself. She was taken to a police station where an officer became suspicious of her actions and discovered that she had tried to dispose of the victim's mobile telephone in a bin at the police station.

She was arrested and during interview told the police that Bethany had in fact been murdered and that she had helped the murderer conceal the crime because she was afraid. At that stage she refused to name Jack Williams.

Whilst Woods was in police custody, Williams continued to dispose of property that incriminated both defendants. He was arrested and during interview he stated that he suffered with blackouts and could not recall what he had done.

Following an investigation by the police, it emerged that Bethany had been murdered during the early hours of the morning. The defendants had subsequently left the flat and disposed of the murder weapon in the nearby River Avon. They had returned and attempted to remove evidence of their involvement and stage a suicide. Woods even contacted a member of Bethany's family to suggest that she was still alive.

Anjuli Shergill, Senior Crown Prosecutor from West Midlands Crown Prosecution Service, said: "Jack Williams and Kayleigh Woods callously targeted a vulnerable young woman who believed them both to be her friends.

"Messages exchanged between the defendants showed that their plan was to pretend that Bethany had committed suicide and that neither had been in the flat. Subsequently, when their involvement became clear, they both tried to conceal their crime.

"They attacked her and left her to die. Despite their attempts to mislead her family and to avoid prosecution, they were today convicted of her murder.

"Our thoughts are with Bethany's family and friends, who throughout the investigation and court proceedings showed great courage and dignity."