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Woman who murdered housemate and hid dismembered body in Forest of Dean jailed for life

A woman who murdered and dismembered her victim before concealing the body in two suitcases has been jailed for life.

Gareeca Conita Gordon, 28, previously admitted killing Phoenix Netts at the shared accommodation where they lived in Birmingham on April 16 last year.

The sentencing hearing heard how Gordon made a number of internet searches including, “Why do killers get caught?” and “Does a dismembered body stink?”

The murder took place after Ms Netts, also 28, rejected an approach by Gordon for a sexual relationship, a court was told.

Gordon is said to have purchased a circular saw to dismember the body of Miss Netts and made a number of trips to the Forest of Dean to dispose of the remains.

On the evening of May 12 she placed dismembered body parts on a fire in secluded woodland. The body had been wrapped in clingfilm.

Gordon has now been handed a minimum jail term of 23 years and six months, Birmingham Live reports.

Gareeca Conita Gordon, who pleaded guilty to murdering Phoenix Netts
Gareeca Conita Gordon, who pleaded guilty to murdering Phoenix Netts

High Court Judge Mrs Justice Cutts said: “It is clear from the deeply moving statements that Miss Netts was a lovely, caring, compassionate woman who was deeply loved.

“She had intended to move back to live with her parents. Her future was looking, bright and promising.

“You robbed her of the future she deserved.”

The judge added: “You made their suffering so much worse by the way you behaved after her death.

“Such punishment cannot bring her back. They must forever live with her loss.”

After the murder, Gordon carried out a series of “detailed, organised actions” to suggest that Miss Netts was alive while taking steps to dispose of her body, prosecutors said.

The Crown Prosecution Service told how Gordon contacted friends and family of Miss Netts through messages, emails and voice calls, pretending to be her and indicating she was moving to London and wanted ‘peace and quiet’.

The body was found in the Forest of Dean
The body was found in the Forest of Dean

Gordon was arrested after a member of the public reported suspicions to police about a vehicle driving near Coleford on the evening of May 12.

Two police officers attended and saw Gordon standing close to Stowfield Quarry with two large suitcases, which contained the remains of Miss Netts.

Gordon was later charged with murder and was due to stand trial but pleaded guilty to the charge during a hearing at Bristol Crown Court on April 21.

Ms Netts’ heartbroken family said in a statement their lives had ‘irreversibly changed’.

A statement from the victim’s family was read out in court.

Phoenix Netts, 28, was found dead in the Forest of Dean in Coleford, Gloucestershire, on May 12.
Phoenix Netts, 28, was found dead in the Forest of Dean in Coleford, Gloucestershire, on May 12

It said: “We have suffered profound loss over the death of such a much-loved daughter.

“We have been caused so much pain by not only her death but the manner of it.

“We will be forever devastated by her death. Our lives have been irreversibly changed.”

At the sentencing hearing on Tuesday, the court was told that Miss Netts was repeatedly stabbed on April 16.

The precise time is not known but at 5.30am she was heard screaming” what’s all this noise” and “help me, help me.”

She was stabbed four times, including one to the breast bone.

One injury was to her right lung, two and three wounds were caused caused to her liver and stomach and the fourth wound.

“None of the wounds were fatal if medical attention had been sought,” said the prosecutor.

Police searching Handsworth Cemetery in Handsworth Wood, Birmingham, on June 23, 2020, in relation to the murder of Phoenix Netts
The police search in relation to the murder

The prosecutor, addressing the judge as part of his final submissions, said Gordon displayed ‘aggressive sexual behaviour’ towards Miss Netts.

He said a psychiatric report on Gordon revealed she was angry as the victim had refused to have a sexual relationship with her.

He said Miss Netts had rejected Gordon through a remark she said to Gordon and she “stabbed her impulsively.”

The murder took place “as a rejection of her approach for a sexual relationship.”

The prosecutor said Gordon has a personality disorder.

He said there is an acceptance by the prosecution that this did play a part in the killing.

But he said this “shouldn’t lower her culpability over the murder.”

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Gordon’s mother sent a statement to court for the family of Phoenix Netts.

It said: “I am very sorry for tragic loss of your loved one.

“I will never justify my daughter’s actions in any way. It was a ticking timebomb waiting to explode.”

Speaking after Gordon pleaded guilty to murder, Lesley Milner of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said: “Gareeca Gordon committed a truly gruesome crime and tried to cover her tracks.

“Thankfully, the remarkable and detailed police investigation in identifying Phoenix Netts led to the CPS building a compelling case against Gordon, which resulted in her pleading guilty.

“She has now accepted the totality and consequences of her actions.”



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