Murder of Phoenix Netts

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Murder of Phoenix Netts
Phoenix Netts
Body discovered12 May , 2020
Forest of Dean

Phoenix Netts is a woman whose body was found hidden in two suitcases in the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire, near the England–Wales border in May 2020.[1][2][3][4]

Investigation[change | change source]

Discovery[change | change source]

The investigation began after a member of the public told police about a car being driven suspiciously on the A4136 road near Coleford in the Forest of Dean.[1][3] Police found the car a short while later and they spoke to two people.[1][3] Two suitcases containing a human body were found.[1] [3] The two people were arrested and a car taken by police.[1][3] The body was found on May 12, 2020, around the time 11:30pm.[2][4]

Search[change | change source]

A search began of Stowfield quarry and the village of Staunton.[1] There were a lot of police in the area.[1] There was a police helicopter and many roads were closed.[1]

The A4136 was closed between Monmouth and Coleford.[3][4] Closures were expected to remain until Friday 15 May 2020.[4][3]

On Friday 15 May 2020 police searched places in Wolverhampton and Birmingham.[5] The police used DNA tests to identify the victim.[5]

Police statements[change | change source]

Detective chief inspector John Turner, the senior investigating officer, said "The nature of this incident is distressing and we’re working around the clock to fully understand what has happened. Someone’s life has been lost and our priority is to identify the victim and get answers for her family. Searches have taken place in the surrounding area for evidence-gathering and no remains have been found as part of these searches. Our major crime investigation team is working in collaboration with the West Midlands police homicide team to carry out further enquiries."[1]

On Thursday 14 May 2020 a Gloucestershire police spokesman said "Officers have been granted a 36-hour magistrates’ extension to continue questioning two people who were arrested on suspicion of murder. Overnight a 12-hour custody extension had been granted for both the woman aged in her 20s and from Birmingham and the man aged in his 30s and from Wolverhampton. The further 36-hour extension was granted at around midday today and means they can remain in custody for further questioning. Due to the ongoing investigation, road closures and scene guards are likely to remain in place. Gloucestershire constabulary would like to thank local residents and those impacted by the cordons for their patience during this time."[1]

On Friday 15 May 2020, Gloucestershire police said "A postmortem examination yesterday was found to be inconclusive and further examinations are ongoing to establish the cause of death. DNA testing is also ongoing to identify the female victim. Searches have continued today around the area of Stowfield Quarry, near Coleford, and some road closures remain in place in the surrounding area.[5]

Impact[change | change source]

Key workers had to find ways around the closed roads.[1] Some thought that the roadblocks were to stop people travelling from England to Wales to exercise.[1] People are only allowed to exercise in their own area because of COVID-19.[1]

Charges[change | change source]

A 27 year old woman from Birmingham has appeared before Cheltenham Magistrates' court on 19 May 2020 and has been charged with killing the woman between 14 April and 12 May 2020 at her home in Birmingham.[6][7] She was remanded to appear in Gloucester Crown Court on 19 May 2020.[7] A 38 year old man from Wolverhampton has been charged with assisting an offender between 25 April and 12 May 2020 and was also remanded to appear before Gloucester Crown Court on 19 May 2020.[6][7] Both have been refused bail appeared before magistrates in Cheltenham via video-link.[6][7]

Identification[change | change source]

The body was that of Phoenix Netts, a 28 year old woman from Birmingham.[8][9]

Detectives from West Midlands police have taken over the investigation from Gloucestershire police.[8] Their investigations have focused on a womens refuge in Birmingham.[8]

Bail was granted to the man from Wolverhampton but he had to agree to follow rules.[8] He must stay at his home address.[8] He must also stay at home between 7pm and 7am and go daily to police.[8] He must also give police his travel documents.[8] No application for bail was made for the woman from Birmingham.[8]

Both suspects are to next appear at Bristol Crown court on 4 August and a provisional trial date of 10 November has been set.[9][8]

In November 2020 all charges against the man were dropped.[10][11][12]

In April 2021 Gareeca Gordon pleaded guilty to murdering Phoenix Netts.[13] She was sentenced to life imprisonment and must serve at least 23 years and 6 months in prison.[14][15]

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 Morris, Steven (14 May 2020). "Murder inquiry after human remains found in bags in Forest of Dean". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 May 2020.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Forest of Dean: Murder arrests after 'human remains' found". BBC News. 13 May 2020. Retrieved 14 May 2020.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 "Forest of Dean: 'Woman's remains' found in two suitcases". BBC News. 14 May 2020. Retrieved 15 May 2020.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Giordano, Chiara (15 May 2020). "Man and woman found carrying human remains in suitcase along English-Welsh border". The Independent. Retrieved 15 May 2020.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Morris, Steven (15 May 2020). "UK police use DNA to identify remains found in suitcases". The Guardian. Retrieved 15 May 2020.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 "Woman charged with murder after human remains found in suitcases". The Guardian. 16 May 2020. Retrieved 16 May 2020.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 "Woman in court over Forest of Dean suitcase remains". BBC News. 16 May 2020. Retrieved 16 May 2020.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 8.6 8.7 8.8 Morris, Steven (19 May 2020). "Police name woman found dead in suitcases in Forest of Dean". The Guardian. Retrieved 20 May 2020.
  9. 9.0 9.1 "Phoenix Netts: Woman found in suitcases in Forest of Dean named". BBC News. 19 May 2020. Retrieved 20 May 2020.
  10. Lane, Ellis (10 November 2020). "Phoenix Netts death: Man no longer facing criminal charges after body found in suitcase". Gloucestershire Echo. Retrieved 13 Ovtober 2021. Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  11. Lane, Elllis (10 November 2020). "Wolverhampton man no longer facing charge after Phoenix Netts' body found in suitcase". Birmingham Mail. Retrieved 30 November 2020.
  12. Farrington, Dayna (10 November 2020). "Wolverhampton man no longer facing charge over murder of Phoenix Netts". Express & Star. Retrieved 30 November 2020.
  13. Morris, Steven (2021-04-21). "Woman admits murdering Phoenix Netts after body found in Forest of Dean". The Guardian. Retrieved 2021-10-13.
  14. Morris, Steven; Murray, Jessica (2021-05-04). "Woman jailed for life after murdering neighbour and dismembering body". The Guardian. Retrieved 2021-10-13.
  15. "Killer jailed after concealing victim's body in suitcases". BBC News. 2021-05-04. Retrieved 2021-10-13.