‘Tell Mum I love her’: Girl’s last words as teenage brother killed her in ‘rage’

Matthew Selby jailed over death of 15-year-old sister Amanda Selby in caravan in Wales

Zoe Tidman
Saturday 17 December 2022 15:30 GMT
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A teenage girl said “tell mum I love her” as she was killed by her older brother, a court heard.

Matthew Selby has been jailed for five years after killing his 15-year-old sister Amanda Selby at a caravan park in North Wales in summer last year.

A court heard how the now 20-year-old lunged at his sister and lay on top of her until she stopped breathing after an argument.

Their father tried to get in between his children and pleaded with Selby to get off his sister, who was wedged between two beds in a caravan.

“His son was too strong, his rage too high, and his daughter had nowhere to move,” the prosector said.

The court heard Amanda said as she lay underneath her brother: “Tell Mum I love her.”

Selby, from Ashton-under-Lyne in Greater Manchester, was sentenced by Mold Crown Court on Friday.

He had pleaded guilty to manslaughter by diminished responsibility at an earlier hearing.

Matthew Selby was sentenced at Mold Crown Court in Wales

Selby, who is autistic, was given an extended sentence of 10 years on Friday which was made up of a five-year custodial term and five years on extended licence.

Judge Rhys Rowlands said the extended licence is considered necessary to protect members of the public from the risks posed by Selby.

“The family has been shattered by what happened that day in July last year,” he said as he passed the sentence.

The court heard that the siblings had been on holiday with their father Anthony when they returned to their caravan after a trip to Rhyl and began arguing.

Jamie Baxter, prosecuting, said Selby lunged at his sister after she hit him with a plug, causing a “trivial” injury to his bottom lip.

The court heard that she fell to the floor between two beds in the confined room and Selby then got on top of her. Mr Baxter said the father tried to climb over one of the beds to reach his children but was unable to get between them.

The prosecutor said the father made an “emotional” and “upsetting” call to 999. Police arrived and arrested Selby, the court heard.

A post-mortem showed Amanda’s cause of death was asphyxiation.

The prosecutor said Selby, who appeared via video-link from HMP Berwyn, has autism spectrum disorder with intermittent explosive disorder, which causes aggressive outbursts, as well as a depressive disorder.

Gordon Cole KC, defending, said attempts have been made to see whether the court could impose a hospital order on the defendant.

He said: “In short, it can’t, and we accept it must be a custodial sentence.”

He said he had spoken to Selby‘s mother before the hearing and told the court: “This is horrific in the sense that she has, to all intents and purposes, lost two children, but she is very much aware of the issues and difficulties this defendant has and is here to support him.”

Mr Cole said Selby had been diagnosed with autism at 16 and his parents suggested there had been little real support from the authorities.

He was convicted of two offences of battery, against his sister and mother, in 2015 and had previous cautions for violence, the court heard.

Police were called to reports of a “domestic disturbance” involving Selby and his sister at a caravan in Ty Mawr Holiday Park in Towyn, near Abergele, North Wales, on 31 July last year.

Selby was initially been charged with murder over the death of his sister.

Prosecutor Ian Unsworth QC previously said the Crown had accepted the plea to manslaughter based on analysis of psychiatric reports.

Her family called her a “loving daughter and granddaughter” in a tribute after her death.

“She was caring, thoughtful, liked to help others and very much loved. She will be very sadly missed,” a family statement released by police at the time said.

Additional reporting by Press Association

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