Boy, 16, jailed for killing ex-girlfriend

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The Independent Online

The mother of a schoolgirl who was bludgeoned to death by her ex-boyfriend called for the return of the death penalty today.

Sonia Oatley spoke out as the "evil" killer of daughter Rebecca Aylward, was told he will serve a minimum of 14 years before being eligible for parole.

Joshua Davies, 16, was found guilty of murdering his former schoolgirl sweetheart at the end of July.

Rebecca, 15, of Maesteg, near Bridgend, south Wales, was lured to a forest in nearby Aberkenfig by Davies in October last year.

Her mother launched an emotionally charged attack on Davies today as she paid tribute to her daughter.

"The evil-doer Joshua Davies robbed us of watching our precious and perfect little girl flourish into a successful young woman.

"We will never forgive him for tearing our world apart so brutally and I would welcome the return of capital punishment for the likes of Joshua Davies, who forfeited his human rights when he chose to take my daughter's life."

She said her daughter was "a promising student, a wonderful friend but, most importantly, a loved and loving daughter and sister.

"There is no doubt in my mind that Rebecca was destined for great things."

Davies attacked Rebecca with a rock the size of a rugby ball, leaving her face down in the rain wearing a new outfit bought for the meeting.

Judge Mr Justice Lloyd Jones stripped Davies of his anonymity after the trial and allowed his identity to be publicly known.

Dressed in a mauve shirt and dark trousers, Davies looked relaxed as he appeared at Swansea Crown Court today before the same judge for sentencing.

He had already been told he would be held in "detention at Her Majesty's Pleasure and you can expect a sentence of indefinite duration."

The judge gave a full summary of the tragic events leading up to Rebecca's murder before passing sentence.

He highlighted how Davies repeatedly boasted to friends that he would kill Rebecca after a break up which left "bitterness on both sides".

He told Davies that he had "a deep-seated hatred towards Rebecca which eventually led you to kill her."

He said in the days before the murder he had been "devious, calculating and controlling and you have shown no remorse."

He added: "Her death will leave a permanent shadow over the lives of her family, the effect of which has been devastating."

The judge told Davies he had assumed that his friends would remain loyal to him after the murder and stand by his lies.

But they had never taken his threats seriously and had always assumed he had been joking.

"Everything that they said to you on the subject of killing, whatever was said about buying you breakfast if you killed Rebecca, was all on the basis that you were kidding.

"They certainly did not think that you would kill Rebecca."

Earlier Peter Rouch QC, who defended Davies, said the teenager still maintained his innocence, claiming his best friend was the real killer.

"My instructions remain the same, in that Joshua Davies stands by the version that he gave during the course of the trial," he said.

In an interview with Sky News, Ms Oatley called Davies "the devil" and said her family had treated him like a son but he had betrayed them "in the worst possible way".

Rebecca's younger brother Jack said that Davies was "very like a big brother" but now he hates him for what he did.

Rebecca's sister Jessica said she had seen antique guns and knives in Davies' bedroom, along with "weird" drawings featuring images of skulls.

Ms Oatley added: "He was the perfect gentleman and he deceived us all, he lured Rebecca that day. I just didn't see it.

"There was nothing to tell that he could have ever possibly done something like this."

Initially she didn't believe that he was guilty, but as evidence emerged she became convinced that he had murdered her daughter.

Rebecca had bought a new outfit to meet Davies, thinking that they were going to get back together as a couple. She was "dancing and singing" beforehand because she was excited, Jessica said.

Ms Oatley said that she would have stopped her daughter going to the meeting if she had known about Davies threatening to kill her.

"Nobody told us 'Joshua's threatening to kill Rebecca', no one told us. We would have stopped her going, there's loads of things we could have done if we just had an idea."

She believes he had wanted to kill her for a year and a half before actually carrying out the chilling attack.

"He just wanted to kill her, probably because she was more intelligent than him. I believe it was something that trivial. And she would speak up, she would speak up and tell him what she thought, and he couldn't take that."

Ms Oatley only heard details of what had happened to her daughter for the first time in court, and said she hopes Davies will eventually explain fully what happened that day.

"I wish he would tell us exactly what happened that day in the woods, but I really don't think he is going to. We need to know."