Press Centre

The Murder Of Becky Watts: Police Tapes

  • Episode: 

    1 of 1

  • Transmission (TX): 

    Thu 09 Nov 2017
  • TX Confirmed: 

    Yes
  • Time: 

    9.00pm - 10.00pm
  • Week: 

    Week 45 2017 : Sat 04 Nov - Fri 10 Nov
  • Channel: 

    ITV
  • Status: 

    New
The information contained herein is embargoed from press use, commercial and non-commercial reproduction and sharing into the public domain until Tuesday 31 October 2017.
 
The Murder Of Becky Watts: Police Tapes 
 
“When we saw her in the morgue, that's when it really hit us. I mean, they did their best to cover up where he cut her up and things like that. But I could still see where he’d decapitated her. And no parent should have to see that.” - Becky Watts’s father Darren
 
In this new documentary for ITV, Susanna Reid gains unprecedented access to never seen before police tapes from the investigation into the murder of Becky Watts, revealing the inner workings of the case and the strategies detectives used to snare her killers.
 
When 16-year-old Becky went missing in 2015, it sparked the largest police investigation ever launched in Bristol and dominated headlines nationwide. Initially it was assumed that Becky had simply run away, but as detectives began to unearth clues surrounding her disappearance their attention turned to stepbrother Nathan Matthews and his girlfriend Shauna Hoare.
 
This programme, which is part of ITV’s Crime & Punishment season, pieces together the methods the police used to build their case against Matthews and Hoare using previously unseen police footage from the heart of the investigation, including interview room tapes, forensic crime scene videos, and the moment the killers were arrested.
 
Several contributors, including Becky’s grandmother Pat Watts and officers involved in the case, speak for the first time since Matthews was sentenced for murder and Hoare for manslaughter.
 
Susanna speaks to Becky’s father Darren at the home where Becky died, along with her stepmother [and Nathan’s mother] Anjie, about their thoughts and emotions during the investigation, and the impact the crime has had on their family.
 
She also interviews senior investigating officer DCI Richard Ocone who gives her a vivid insight into the techniques and strategies officers used to elicit evidence in the interview room following forensic searches, which led to the grim discovery of Becky’s body and the dark motivation behind her murder being revealed.
 
Initially it seemed Becky had simply run away and would return. But DCI Ocone says he had an instinct because she had simply stopped using her phone, and not spoken to any friends, that something bad had happened. He says: “On day one you know I am fairly confident here, that something bad has happened to this young lady, I just don't know exactly what.“
 
Police then discovered Becky’s stepbrother and his girlfriend were the last people to see her, but they proved difficult to pin down. Once at the station, officers found Hoare ‘giggly’ and Matthews seemingly unconcerned. At Becky’s house, the forensic team found a key clue. Jon Draper from the team says: “That's when we came across what appeared to be blood or red staining on the architrave of the doorframe leading into Becky’s room.”
 
When a fingerprint in the blood turned out to belong to Matthews, the pair were arrested, initially on suspicion of kidnap. Becky’s grandmother Pat says: “If was going to be something bad, it didn’t surprise me. Nathan hated Becky and made it obvious.”
 
Detectives didn't tell Matthews they now knew it was his fingerprint in Becky’s blood, but hinted at what they’d found, to increase his unease. Det Con Marie Stephen explains: “Without giving that to them on a plate, if you like, it leaves them having to think about it, and puts them under more pressure.”
 
Police searched the pair's own house, finding that despite the fact it was filthy and crammed full of furniture, the bath was sparkling clean. The search also uncovered incriminating receipts which indicated a gruesome truth. DCI Ocone says: “Those receipts indicated that somebody on the Friday, when Becky was reported missing, had been to B&Q and had bought a circular saw, some gloves, goggles, and a face mask…  Does it really mean he has tried to dismember a body?”
 
The investigation then turned into a murder inquiry, and dad Darren says: “Your whole world folds in on itself. They told me this [was] a murder inquiry and I know I started shouting at that point, ‘Oh, no, no, no, no you’re wrong, she’s got to be alive.’”  
 
Detectives withheld the receipts find from Matthews, increasing the pressure by saying his home had been forensically searched. DCI Ocone says: “I think it probably felt like he was battling against a rising tide, and actually, you could feel the evidence starting to come on top, and actually it was starting to weigh quite heavily.”
 
Matthews then confessed in a prepared statement that he’d used the circular saw to dismember Becky’s body in the bath. He admitted wrapping up the body parts and hiding them in a shed a few hundred metres from his home. DCI Ocone admits nothing prepared him for what they found there: “The nature of the find is horrific and shocking, I have never dealt with anything like this. And it will stay with me throughout my service, it will stay with me probably throughout my life.”
 
With Matthews claiming sole culpability, detectives couldn’t yet link Hoare to the murder. She was initially charged with perverting the course of justice, before a series of deleted texts were recovered from one of her phones. They revealed a disturbing motivation behind the murder - text messages between the pair talking about abducting young girls, taking them home and putting them in their loft. DCI Ocone says: “I think they showed that Shauna’s involvement was far tighter, far closer to actually what had happened...  It suggested that she had been involved in the dismemberment and the packaging of Becky, after she’d been killed.”
 
Darren takes Susanna into Becky’s locked bedroom, which is filled with posters and soft toys one might expect a teenage girl’s room to contain. There, he explains the impact the case has had on him. He says: “I believe they came both up here, they burst in on her, with masks on, and attacked her. She must have been absolutely bloody terrified.
 
“The image I have, in my nightmares, is him holding her down on the floor, and [Hoare’s placing her hand] over her mouth... They did it together, they planned it together, I don't know what they expected to gain from it. ‘Cause there was nothing in it for them. So, it was all pointless.”