Teenager guilty of using rock to kill ex-girlfriend

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The Independent Online

A teenager who lured his ex-girlfriend into woodland to batter her to death with a stone has been told to expect a sentence "of indefinite duration" after being convicted of murder.

Joshua Davies, 16, pretended he wanted to get back together with his former sweetheart Rebecca Aylward, 15, but when she joined him in the woods in October last year he attacked her with a stone the size of a rugby ball, smashing the back of her skull in.

While Rebecca, from Maesteg, South Wales, lay face down on the ground in the new clothes she had put on specially, her killer hinted to his friends he had carried out the murder he had long told them he intended.

"Define with," he said when asked if he was with her. Earlier that day he had told friends he intended to kill her and was going to meet her. His best friend met him in the woods and saw the girl's body.

The judge, Mr Justice Lloyd Jones, ruled after the 10-2 majority verdict of guilty was delivered by the Swansea Crown Court jury that the killer, who had been granted anonymity because of his age, should be publicly named. "There is huge speculation as to who is responsible and it is right that the public should know," he said. "This is a crime that has affected a small enclosed community. It is rightthat the public should know thatthere has been a conviction and who is convicted."

Sentencing will take place on a later date but the murderer was told by the judge he will be held in "detention at Her Majesty's pleasure" and that "you can expect a sentence of indefinite duration".

Rebecca's family issued a statement after the verdict in which they said they could never forgive Davies. "The pain and horror of losing Rebecca in such horrendous circumstances cannot be put into words," they said.

"Since that Saturday in October 2010 our lives have stopped. Rebecca was killed in a senseless and barbaric act. She died at the hands of someone she loved and trusted. We will never forget what he did to her or forgive him for destroying our family."

Richard Killick, senior crown prosecutor for CPS Wales, said: "This was a planned and calculated attack on a defenceless girl, resulting in her tragic death. Only the defendant truly knows what motivated him to commit such an act – but what we do know is that Rebecca's family and friends continue to live with the awful consequences."