28 year old Woman who murdered her housemate after she refused to have sex with her, bags 23 years in prison
Gareeca Gordon (Left), murdered Phoenix Netts.
This is the horrifying moment police discovered the partially burned torso of 28-year-old Phoenix Netts in suitcase after her women’s refuge housemate stabbed her and dismembered her body with a circular saw.
Gareeca Gordon, 28, murdered Phoenix Netts, also 28, at the property where they both lived in Birmingham on April 16 last year.
Gordon, a Jamaican national stabbed Miss Netts four times, causing fatal injuries, before cutting her body into six parts with a circular saw she bought on Gumtree for £45.
Gordon admitted to killing Ms. Netts after being accused of stabbing the former student to death at the HMO property the pair shared in Lozells, West Birmingham, on 16 April.
The killer pleaded guilty to the murder a few days before she was due to stand trial.
Prosecutor Andrew Smith QC said the victim had told a friend in February that Gordon had “demanded sex with her” and became “aggressive” when she refused.
On 7 April, she texted a friend: “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.”
Bristol Crown Court heard that Gordon called the Samaritans on 11 April and appeared “tipsy”.
“The clear focus of the call was Ms Gordon describing that she liked another woman and wanting to have sex with her,” Mr Smith said.
“At one stage Ms Gordon said either that her loins were warming up or were hot.”
Ms Netts’ last-known contact was a phone call with a friend in the early hours of 16 April.
Internet searches including “how to fix punctured lung”, “internal bleeding” and “can someone recover from getting stabbed” were made on her phone between 1.04pm and 3.07pm, the court heard.
The victim had been stabbed four times in the front of her torso but according to a post-mortem she would have lived if she had got swift medical help.
Another woman living in the shared accommodation heard drilling and banging noises, as well as shouts of “help me, help me”, Mr Smith told the court.
She said Gordon had gone to ‘considerable efforts’ to dispose of the remains of Ms. Netts and to pretend she was still alive in ‘cold and calculated’ messages to her friends and family.
‘You impersonated Ms Netts in a substantial number of WhatsApp messages to her mother, including requests for money,’ the judge told Gordon.
‘You impersonated her in messages. You noted expressions that Ms. Netts used by listening to audio files Ms Netts had on her phone.’
Gordon had no previous convictions, apart from two offences of shoplifting. She had been diagnosed with a personality disorder as well as post-traumatic stress disorder.
Sentencing Gordon to life with a minimum term of 23 years and six months at Bristol Crown Court, judge Mrs. Justice Cutts described Miss Netts as a ‘deeply loved’ person.
‘Her future was looking bright, shining and promising. A fresh start was ahead of her,’ the judge told Gordon
‘You robbed her of that fresh start. You took her from the supportive parents who loved and cherished her.’
Justice Cutts told Gordon that her personality disorder may explain ‘in part’ why she killed Ms Netts but it had not “distorted” reality for her at the time.
Mrs Justice Cutts said: ‘Gareeca Gordon for the murder of Phoenix Netts I sentence you to life imprisonment.
‘You will serve a minimum term of 23 years and six months. Thereafter, it will be for the parole board to decide when, if ever, you should be released.
‘If you are ever released, you will remain on licence for the rest of your life.’
The judge paid tribute to the family of Ms Netts for the dignity they showed throughout the court proceedings.
Police forensic investigations focused on the hostel, a nearby cemetery and locations in the Forest of Dean, 80 miles away.
The court heard Gordon made a number of trips to the Forest of Dean and attempted to burn the remains of Miss Netts in woodland there.
Forensic examinations of Miss Netts’ room found the bed, mattress, carpet and underlay had been removed but blood staining was found in the living area, kitchen and shower, Mr Smith said.
The circular saw used to dismember the body of Miss Netts was discovered in Gordon’s room.
Mr Smith said ‘handwritten plans and notes concerned with her removing the body from Coleford and moving it to Wales to burn further’ were also found in the room.
Police described the killing as ‘really calculated’ and ‘extremely thought through in relation to planning’.
Miss Netts grew up the capital, born in Croydon to parents Mark and Saskia.
The 28-year-old – who had hoped to become a paramedic – led a troubled life, dropping out of university and battling drug and mental health problems before ending up at the women’s refuge.
Gordon and Ms Netts first met when Gordon moved into the Birmingham property around six months before the murder.
When asked what the motive for the murder was, Detective Superintendent Griffiths said that Gordon and Ms Netts had a friendship of sorts as they were living in the same place.
‘It is apparent that Gareeca wanted more than a friendship,’ he said.
‘That she wanted a sexual relationship with Phoenix and Phoenix didn’t want any kind of sexual relationship with Gareeca.
‘That is supported by letters and notes recovered.
‘Phoenix confided in close friends that there is this unhealthy relationship that Gareeca was trying to form and that she didn’t want any part of it.
‘The fact she was even thinking of returning to London due to how uneasy she felt due to the contact that she was having with Gareeca Gordon.’
Miss Netts was a keen horse rider as a child, as well as being fond of drama, and was an academic who did well at school.
She studied at the University of Kent for a number of years before getting a job and starting a relationship, which led to her moving from London to Birmingham – a city which she loved.
‘The impact on the family is significant,’ Mr Griffiths said.
‘I have spent a considerable amount of time with them, as a result of this incident, this has really traumatised them.
‘The impact can never be lost on anybody who loses somebody through a homicide, but especially so in circumstances like this.’
Andrew Langdon QC, representing Gordon, today said her mother had written a letter to the judge saying she was ‘eternally sorry’ for what her daughter had done.
In the letter, she described Gordon as a ‘ticking timebomb’ at the time of the murder due to her mental state and a lack of support.
The court heard Gordon was born in Jamaica and moved to England aged seven, living initially with an aunt before her mother joined her.
She is understood to have been raised in north London, attending an all-girls’ state school. Dailymail
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