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UPDATED WITH SENTENCE: Alton man guilty of killing woman to fund his drug habit

|News, Violent crime

Sentence update: Matthew Reynolds was sentenced to life imprisonment on Friday 10 June at Winchester Crown Court. He will serve a minimum of 14 years in prison.

Originally published on 6 May 2022

A man from Alton who fatally stabbed a woman in a brutal knife attack has been found guilty of manslaughter.

Matthew Reynolds, aged 32, was convicted by a jury at Winchester Crown Court today (6 May 2022) of stabbing Bonnie Harwood, aged 47, in the early hours of 10 October 2021.

Reynolds, a long-standing drug addict who needed money to fund his habit and to repay drug debts, arranged to meet with Bonnie Harwood who was herself a drug user and dealer to associates and friends.

Bonnie thought Reynolds was just coming to see her to supply her with drugs, but he had actually made the arrangement so that he could rob her of her money and heroin having become increasingly desperate for funds and his next fix.

Between 3:50am and 4:15am on Sunday 10 October Reynolds attacked Bonnie with a knife, and left her to die without seeking any medical assistance for her. He sent text messages to Bonnie’s mobile phone shortly after killing her in an attempt to suggest that he hadn’t visited her at all and called her again in the morning to further construct a cover story that he had not seen her that night.

It wasn’t until later in the afternoon on that day that Bonnie was found by one of her friends, who alerted the emergency services.

At an earlier court hearing, Reynolds also pleaded guilty to robbery. Three days before he killed Bonnie Harwood, Reynolds robbed a Post Office in the village of Holybourne. He threatened a lone female worker with an axe and stole £100 from the shop’s till.

Andrew Eddy, CPS Wessex Senior Crown Prosecutor said: “Matthew Reynolds tried to cover up what he had done, but inevitably made mistakes that were uncovered during the thorough police investigation.

“The careful analysis of CCTV evidence, mobile phone data and forensic evidence proved that Reynolds was not telling the truth and that he was clearly responsible for Bonnie’s death. In fact, shortly after fatally attacking Bonnie, Reynolds was actively selling the heroin that he had also stolen from her.

“This case is a stark reminder of the devastation that drug use can cause, and the desperate lengths an addict will go to in order to feed his habit.

“I hope that Bonnie’s friends and family will feel that justice has been delivered today.”

Notes to editors

Matthew Reynolds was found not guilty of murder, but guilty of manslaughter.

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