A 31-year-old man who brutally murdered a teenage student after refusing her sexual advances has been jailed for life with a minimum of 23 years.
Lewis Haines strangled 18-year-old Lily Sullivan and left her partially naked face down in water at a beauty spot in Pembroke, Wales in the early hours of December 16.
The father-of-one then came home and told his partner: ‘I strangled someone. They are in Mill Pond.
The couple met at a local nightclub and were captured on CCTV calmly walking down the high street after leaving together in the early hours of the morning.
As they were leaving the room, a friend of Lily’s shouted at Haines, “What are you doing?” You have a girlfriend… and she’s only 18.
The couple kissed, cuddled and chatted in a secluded lane, but after an hour she ‘decided she was going home’, Swansea Crown Court heard.
Judge Thomas said: ‘Fueled as he was by the drink, I’m sure Mr Haines was frustrated by it. He became energetic; she resisted.
Haines claimed that Lily had threatened to charge him with rape, leading the judge to conclude that he had gone after her because he ‘couldn’t risk her surviving’.
The court heard he had ‘a lot to lose’ as he was also fighting a family cost case to gain access to his child.
Judge Thomas said: ‘He strangled Lily in order to stop her telling people he had tried to take her further than she wanted.
“His intention was to silence her. He didn’t want anyone to know what happened in the alley.
In court, the father-of-one admitted to killing Lily, but insisted the attack was not motivated by sex, which would have lowered the sentence threshold from 30 to 15 years.
His claims were dismissed after an inquest hearing in court, which heard how the victim’s crop top was found at the water’s edge.
“I’m sure Lily didn’t take her top off on purpose. I’m sure Mr. Haines took it off before putting it in the pond.
“My belief is that when he got strong, Lily said she would complain that he tried to force himself on her.”
Shortly before 3 a.m., Lily spoke to her mother on the phone, telling her, “I’ll be there now mom.” I am on my way. I’m a few minutes away. I’m almost there.
But the line was cut when Haines launched her attack, and separate CCTV footage showed Lily’s phone flashing repeatedly as her mother tried to call her back 30 times.
In court, it was revealed that she had repeatedly posted on social media about sexual violence against women and safety on nights out.
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