Life sentence for woman who murdered girlfriend she had abused for years
| Becky Reid was convicted of murder following a six-week trial at Manchester crown court.
A woman has been jailed for life for the murder of her girlfriend, who had been beaten for years by her partner and had lost contact with her young daughter.
Becky Reid, 32, was ordered to serve a minimum of 20 years after being convicted on Thursday by a jury of the murder of Lyndsey Vaux, 30, following a six-week trial at Manchester crown court.
Reid refused to leave her cell at HMP Styal on Friday to face sentencing.
Vaux’s daughter, aged 12, was sitting in the public gallery when she was addressed directly by Judge Richard Mansell QC after he jailed Reid.
Vaux died in Wigan on 22 May last year, half-starved and severely injured following years of beatings by Reid, after falling under her control and losing contact with her daughter five years ago.
The judge told the girl: “I’m sure that deep down she still loved you. You must remember your mother did not abandon you, she was taken away by the actions of another person. Everything I have heard is: she was a really decent, kind, loving human being.”
Vaux had been a happy and healthy woman before meeting Reid, described as a controlling bully, in 2011.
Reid was also convicted of grievous bodily harm against a previous partner, Samantha Newns.
Her mother, Gillian Reid, 57, was cleared of murder, but was found guilty of assault occasioning actual bodily harm to Newns.
She was given a 12-month jail sentence suspended for 12 months.
The judge told her that although she had been cleared of murder she bore a “significant degree of moral blame” for Vaux’s death.
Reid regularly kicked, punched and stamped on her victim, leaving her “looking like the elephant man”.
Neighbours, shopkeepers and other witnesses told how Vaux was often seen being dragged by her hair and assaulted as Reid screamed abuse at her in the streets around their home in Platt Bridge.
Vaux was often sent by Reid limping into the streets in the rain to go begging and scrounging to get money for scratchcards, “smoke and cans” to feed her alcohol and cannabis habits. If she did not bring back enough money she would be beaten.
In the final months before her death Vaux appeared downtrodden, malnourished and constantly bruised.
One neighbour told jurors she “looked like she was dead already”, another said Vaux looked as if she had been in a car accident, and others told how she was seen “literally devouring” food she had recovered from bins.
Jurors heard that on one occasion Reid kicked Vaux hard in the face at their home for putting salad on her burger.
On 22 May last year she suffered a final “massive battering” that proved fatal.
A postmortem revealed she had suffered 90 separate injuries following years of abuse by Reid.
Experts concluded she died from the combined effects of multiple injuries over several months. Reid denied using any violence against Vaux.
As police investigated the death they became aware of the earlier partner of Becky Reid, who had also been beaten up by both mother and daughter.
Newns said she was assaulted about 50 times by Reid before leaving
The prosecutor, Paul Reid QC, told the court: “Lyndsey Vaux was not so lucky.”
The senior investigating officer, Bob Tonge of Greater Manchester police’s major incident support unit, said: “Lyndsey Vaux was subjected to years of horrific domestic abuse at the hands of her girlfriend, and no decision made here today can bring her back.
“Some neighbours knew about this abuse and did nothing. Had they given us the information that they gave us after Lyndsey’s murder then we could have saved her life, and this should act as a stark reminder that we all have a responsibility to stand up to this kind of crime.
“My thoughts are with Lyndsey’s family at this difficult time, and I hope this sentence goes some way to finding them justice.”