BETHANY HILL MURDER TRIAL LATEST: Woods blames her boyfriend for killing

Bethany Hill and the flat on Hertford Road where she died. Main photo: Mark Williamson.

Without naming him, a young transgender woman blamed her boyfriend and co-defendant for the sadistic killing of Bethany Hill, describing him to the police as ‘pure f***ing evil.’

A jury at Warwick Crown Court heard that Kayleigh Woods made the comment during a police interview following her arrest on suspicion of being involved in Beth’s death.

Woods, 23, of Hertford Road, Stratford, and Jack Williams, 21, who was said to have been living with her at the time, have both pleaded not guilty to Beth’s murder on 3rd February last year.

The jury at Warwick Crown Court has heard Beth’s body was discovered by the police and paramedics when they went to the ground-floor flat after a 999 call from Woods at just after 7pm.

But by then Beth’s blood-soaked body had been lying in the flat for more than 12 hours, after her throat had been cut, severing the jugular vein, prosecutor Stephen Linehan QC has said.

“She bled to death in the bathroom. We submit you will conclude it was a sadistic killing by Williams, and that Kayleigh Woods joined in in a bid to please him,” Mr Linehan has alleged.

In her first police interview Woods said that on the night of 2nd February Beth, who the jury has heard had a history of self-harm, had come out of the bathroom with cuts to her legs and then tried to drink bleach.

She said she stopped Beth, with whom she was planning to have a baby and raise it ‘as best friends,’ and made her drink some milk after she had been sick, and Beth then went to bed.

Woods said she was then in the sitting room at about 1am when someone arrived who had been coming there at that time for about two weeks, although she did not name the person as Williams.

She said he then left the room, and she found him in the bedroom on top of Beth.

She commented to the officers: “This person is pure f***ing evil.  I wouldn’t put anything past him when he’s gone.”

She said he ‘obviously killed her,’ but later in the interview said she just saw him on top of Beth and did not know what was going on, but left the flat.

She continued: “That’s when he’s come up behind me with a knife with blood all over it, and looked at me dead in the eye and just said ‘You realise if you say anything, you’re next.’”

Woods said she returned to the flat to see whether Beth was OK, and saw there was ‘blood everywhere.’

She said the man also came back into the flat, and she was told to clean it up or he was going to kill her, but that she did not go into the bathroom.

She told the police: “He said he cut her neck and that there’s blood everywhere.  I knew there would be blood everywhere, but I didn’t expect it to be like that.”

After trying to clean up, they left the flat, and she said the knife, which she described as ‘a really long thin one’ which had been borrowed from a neighbour, was thrown into the river by Jack.

Earlier on the fifth day of the trial forensic scientist Nicholas Smith said he had examined the knife, which had been recovered from the river by police divers.

Because it had been in flowing water, there was no visible blood on the external surfaces, and although some DNA was recovered, it was not suitable for a comparison test to be carried out.

But Mr Smith said the knife was then taken apart, and there was ‘red/brown staining’ in the rivet holes, with a test indicating the presence of blood, so a DNA test was undertaken.

“A DNA profile matching that of Bethany Hill was found from the tested material.  It was a billion times more likely to have originated from Bethany Hill than from someone else not related to her.”

Mr Linehan asked whether the presence of blood in the rivet holes indicated the handle ‘must have been heavily stained for it to see in behind the rivets.’  And he said that was the most likely explanation.

Mr Smith also examined a pair of trainers taken from Williams when he was arrested, and found both were bloodstained, mainly in the upper tongue region, but not heavily.

The left one was sent for DNA analysis, and the blood again gave a match which was a billion times more likely to have come from Bethany Hill.

The forensic scientist said he had gone to the flat on 4th February to examine the scene, and there was a duvet in a black bin liner on the bed.

It was bloodstained, and some of the blood was still wet, so he said he advised that it be dried before being examined.

“Both outer surfaces of it were bloodstained. Some of it heavy contact staining and smears, and heavy drips and small spots of blood.

“Some of the contact bloodstaining towards one corner of the duvet had been deposited in sufficient quantity for it to have formed runs down the surface towards the main body of it rather than the edge, which indicated it had not remained horizontal.”

And some of the blood seemed to be diluted, suggesting it had been ‘wetted’ at some stage.

In the bathroom there was ‘a lot of blood present,’ and as well as heavy clotted blood in the bath, there was an indication Beth had been sat on the toilet, with her back to the adjacent wall rather that to the cistern.

The was a small area of ‘expirated blood,’ and also contact stains ‘as a result of contact between the walls and bloodstained hair,’ as well as ‘cast-off’ blood on the ceiling.  The trial continues.

See full round-up of the trial so far in tomorrow’s Herald.