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Becky Watts' killers granted more than £400,000 in legal aid

Nathan Matthews killed his 16-year-old stepsister after he hatched a sexually motivated kidnap plot with Shauna Hoare. Photo:

The couple who killed the teenager Becky Watts were granted more than £400,000 in legal aid in the lead up to and during her murder trial.

Nathan Matthews killed his 16-year-old stepsister after he hatched a sexually motivated kidnap plot with his girlfriend Shauna Hoare.

Her body was taken from her home in Bristol and dismembered with a circular saw before the remains were hidden in a garden shed in the city.

Becky Watts' remains were discovered exactly a year ago.

New figures obtained under the Freedom of Information Act by the Press Association show the couple were granted £402,250 in legal aid throughout the murder trial.

Nathan Matthews

£181k
grant for a solicitor during the trial at Bristol Crown Court
£141k
grant for advocate during the seven-week long murder trial

Shauna Hoare

£7k
grant for a solicitor during the trial at Bristol Crown Court
£70k
grant for an advocate during the trial in front of Mr Justice Dingemans

The Ministry of Justice said the figures only reflected legal aid paid up to December 31, with more bills expected from solicitors and advocates.

Anyone facing a Crown Court trial is eligible for legal aid, subject to a strict means test.

Applicants who meet the relevant means thresholds may still be required to pay significant contributions, up to the entire cost of their defence.

– Ministry of Justice

"As with all cases where a defendant is convicted, the Legal Aid Agency will assess if any contributions paid amounted to less than the total costs of the case, and take all necessary steps to recover any residual costs where applicable."

"The Government has cut the fees paid to lawyers in criminal legal aid cases such as these to ensure legal aid represents better value for the taxpayer.

£105k
total cost of the trial to the Crown Prosecution Service.

Jurors convicted Matthews of Becky's murder and a conspiring to kidnap the teenager.

Hoare was found guilty of Becky's manslaughter, conspiring to kidnap her, preventing a lawful burial, perverting the course of justice and possessing stun guns.