A woman has been jailed for at least 23-and-a-half years for murdering her friend Phoenix Netts and dismembering her body, after demanding a sexual relationship from her.
Gareeca Gordon, 28, was told by a judge at Bristol Crown Court on Tuesday that she was considered a “very dangerous young woman” and would likely spend the rest of her life behind bars.
Gordon stabbed Ms Netts, also 28, to death at the HMO property the pair shared in Lozells, West Birmingham, some time on or before 16 April last year.
After killing Ms Netts, Gordon attempted to deceive her friends and family through text messages, emails and voice messages that she was still alive and had moved to London.
She then bought a circular saw and disposed of Ms Netts’ body in two large suitcases.
But following reports of a car driving in the area during lockdown, police found Gordon at the Forest of Dean, beside a quarry with two suitcases containing the remains of Ms Netts, leading to her arrest at about 11pm on 12 May.
She later pleaded guilty to Ms Netts’ murder days before she was due to stand trial.
Opening for the prosecution, Andrew Smith QC told the court Ms Netts messaged a friend in February to say Gordon had “demanded sex with her” and became “aggressive” when she said no.
On 7 April, in a text message to a friend, Ms Netts said: “There’s a girl here who keeps asking me to be sexual. I think I’m going to move back to London. It’s scaring me lol.”
The last known contact Ms Netts had was a phone call with a friend in the early hours of 16 April, Mr Smith said, while her device was used to make internet searches including “how to fix punctured lung”, “internal bleeding” and “can someone recover from getting stabbed” between 1.04pm and 3.07pm the same day.
A post-mortem examination found Ms Netts had suffered four stab wounds to the front of her torso but would not have died had she received prompt medical attention.
Another woman living in the shared accommodation with Ms Netts and Gordon heard noises of drilling and banging, as well as shouts of “help me, help me” on 16 April, the court heard.
Gordon then purchased a circular saw on Gumtree for £45, which was delivered to the property shortly before 11am on 17 April 17, with the post-mortem examination finding the saw was used to dismember the body of Ms Netts when it was either clothed or partially clothed.
“Dismemberment took place at five different locations of the body, dividing the body into six parts,” Mr Smith told the court.
The saw was later discovered in Gordon’s room.
Mrs Justice Cutts, sentencing this afternoon, described Gordon as a “very dangerous young woman” who had killed Ms Netts in her own bedroom.
“You stabbed her four times. None of these wounds would have been fatal had you called for help,” the judge told Gordon. “She must have been very frightened in those hours before she died.”
Justice Cutts told Gordon her crime had been “aggravated by the considerable physical and mental suffering” she inflicted on Ms Netts before her death “in not summonsing the emergency services”.
The judge acknowledged that Gordon had been diagnosed with a personality disorder, as well as post-traumatic stress disorder, but said neither had “distorted” reality enough for her to explain why she murdered Ms Netts.
Sentencing Gordon to a minimum of 23 years and six months behind bars, Justice Cutts said it would then be for the parole board to decide if she should ever be released.
Gordon’s only previous convictions were two minor shoplifting offences.
Additional reporting by PA