Woman jailed for murdering Phoenix Netts and dumping her body in suitcases

Gareeca Conita Gordon, 28, admitted murdering Phoenix Netts. Credit: Gloucestershire Constabulary/BPM Media

A woman has been jailed for murdering her friend after demanding a sexual relationship with her.

Gareeca Gordon, 28, killed Phoenix Netts, also 28, at the property where they both lived in Birmingham on April 16 last year.

Ms Netts was stabbed four times before Gordon dismembered her body and made a number of trips to the Forest of Dean where she attempted to burn her remains.

Gordon was arrested near Coleford after police officers found her beside a quarry with two suitcases with Ms Netts' remains inside.

28-year-old Phoenix Netts was found dead in the Forest of Dean in Coleford, Gloucestershire, on May 12. Credit: ITV News Central

After killing Ms Netts, Gordon set about deceiving her friends and family through text messages, emails and voice messages suggesting she was still alive and had moved to London.

High Court Judge Mrs Justice Cutts sentenced Gordon to life in prison with a minimum term of 23 years and six months during a hearing at Bristol Crown Court on Tuesday 4 May.

The judge said that days before the murder, Gordon had “demanded sex” from Ms Netts and became physically aggressive, pushing her around the room, when she refused.

Mrs Justice Cutts described Ms Netts as a "deeply loved" person, adding: "Her future was looking bright and promising."

The defendant had previously pleaded guilty to Ms Netts’s murder days before she was due to stand trial.


Killer 'demanded sex' with victim

Andrew Smith QC said Ms Netts spoke with a friend in February and told her Gordon had “demanded sex with her” and became “aggressive” when she said no.

On April 7, Ms Netts sent a text message to a friend stating: “There’s a girl here who keeps asking me to be sexual.

“I think I’m going to move back to London. It’s scaring me lol.”

The last known contact Ms Netts had was a phone call with a friend in the early hours of April 16. He attempted to ring her back that afternoon but did not get through.

Her phone was used to make online searches including “how to fix punctured lung”, “internal bleeding” and “can someone recover from getting stabbed” between 1.04pm and 3.07pm that day, the court heard.


Family 'forever devastated'

Bristol Crown Court heard the family of Phoenix Netts have been deeply affected by her death.

Phoenix Netts' remains were found in suitcases in the Forest of Dean. Credit: West Midlands Police

Mr Smith, referring to victim personal statements from Ms Netts’ mother and father, said: “Both statements speak of the profound, understandable and enduring loss experienced through the loss of a much-loved daughter with whom they expected to share the next chapter of her life.”

Our lives have been irreversibly changed and the anguish is indescribable.

Mark Netts, Phoenix Netts' father

The court heard her mother, Saskia, described herself as “forever devastated, forever empty”.

Mr Smith told the court the pain experienced by the family was “exacerbated by the knowledge of the manner of her death and the defendant impersonating her”.


Killer was 'ticking timebomb', according to her mother

The court heard Gordon was born in Jamaica and moved to England aged seven, living initially with an aunt before her mother joined her.

Andrew Langdon QC, representing Gordon, said she was “exploited by a man who turned her into a sex worker” and was in an abusive relationship.

Mr Langdon said her mother had written a letter to the judge saying she was “eternally sorry” for what her daughter had done.

Assessments carried out on Gordon following the murder found she has a personality disorder, has a low tolerance to frustration and struggles with perceived rejection, the court heard.

In the letter, her mother described Gordon as a “ticking timebomb” at the time of the murder due to her mental state and a lack of support.