Manchester Evening News

Judge: Killer had no ‘true remorse’

Murderer who dragged fiance under car may never be released from prison

- By IMOGEN CLYDE-SMITH

A JUDGE blasted convicted murderer Alice Wood for ‘showing no true remorse’ and warned she may never be released from prison as he jailed her for life for killing her fiancé.

The 24-year-old Manchester University student ran over Ryan Watson, 24, with her Ford Fiesta, dragging his body 158m for 21 seconds down a road near their home in Rode Heath, Cheshire, in May 2022.

Wood, 24, claimed Mr Watson died in a ‘tragic accident’ but was found guilty of murder last month following a trial at Chester Crown Court.

At a hearing today (February 2), Judge Michael Leeming sentenced Wood to life in prison with a minimum term of 18 years for the ‘senseless murder’ of Mr Watson.

Going over the sequence of events heard during the trial, Judge Leeming said Wood initially began reversing ‘aggressive­ly’ in the direction of Mr Watson to ‘intimidate’ him. She then ‘deliberate­ly drove’ her car at Mr Watson and collided with him.

After being struck, Mr Watson was thrown backwards onto the bonnet of Wood’s car. He hit his head on the windscreen but managed to land on his feet.

Wood told the jury she had merely intended to ‘frighten’ Mr Watson and not hit him, but Judge Leeming rejected this, saying: “I do not accept that account, that you intended to stop short of colliding with him. You accelerate­d towards him giving him no chance to move out of the way.

Your intention was to cause him some harm”. The judge later said he could also not accept that Wood was provoked to act in the way she did, or that she was in fear of violence at Mr Watson’s hands, but instead was ‘in a temper, fuelled by alcohol and the knowledge that he had been texted by another woman.’ Just under four seconds after first hitting Mr Watson, Wood then drove straight towards him again, running him over and dragging him under her car. Judge Leeming told the court Ryan’s screams, which Wood claimed not to have heard, were recorded by a CCTV camera and the footage showed the car rise as it ran over Mr Watson’s body.

He said he rejected Wood’s claim that she had no idea Ryan’s body was trapped underneath the car, telling her: “I am sure you were aware of it, you drove the 521 feet along the road (it taking 21 seconds to cover that distance) aware that he was under the car and then sought to dislodge his body by driving forwards and backwards.”

Judge Leeming said that when Wood hit Ryan a second time her intention was to kill him. “It may not have been a long settled intention but an intention to kill can be formed in the heat of the moment and on the spur of the moment. Having failed to injure him with strike one, this time, you made no mistake”, he said, later adding: “To my mind, you have shown no true remorse for Ryan’s murder.”

Passing sentence, he said to Wood: “He was a young man full of promise with his whole life ahead of him,” he said.

“His untimely death has left a void in the lives of all those left behind. ”

Having failed to injure him with strike one, this time, you made no mistake Judge Michael Leeming

 ?? ?? Ryan Watson
Ryan Watson
 ?? Alice Wood ??
Alice Wood

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