Teenager jailed for life for rape and murder of school friend

17 February 2020, 17:42

Megan Newton and Joseph Trevor
Megan Newton and Joseph Trevor. Picture: PA

By Maddie Goodfellow

A teenager who raped and murdered an old school friend after she offered him a place to stay "as an act of kindness" has been jailed for life.

Joseph Trevor, 19, strangled and stabbed 18-year-old Megan Newton at her bedsit in Stoke-on-Trent after she let him stay the night on 20 April 2019.

He told her that he was so intoxicated from alcohol and drugs that he could not face going back to his parent's home.

Stafford Crown Court were told how football coach Megan was stabbed in the back multiple times.

Youth football coach and self-described "sports fanatic" Miss Newton was applying to become the first of her family to go to university, with her sights set on a sports scholarship in the US.

The talented sportswoman said she intended to pursue a career in physiotherapy or sports therapy.

On what was to be the first day of his trial on Monday, Joseph Trevor, 19, admitted murder and two counts of rape at Stafford Crown Court.

Prosecutor Adrian Keeling QC said: “This defendant raped and then murdered Megan Newton in the early hours of Saturday April 20 last year.”

“He did so at her flat.

“She had invited him back as an act of kindness, because he got so drunk on drink and drugs he could not face going home to his parents.

“He raped her, strangled her unconscious and then stabbed her in the back eight times. She was 18 years old.”

Jailing him for life with a minimum term of 22 years for the "appalling crime", Judge Michael Chambers QC said Trevor carried out a "brutal and sustained attack, conducted in a most callous way in her own home.

Trevor was told he would serve at least 21 years and 65 days before being considered for parole.

Joseph Trevor pled guilty at Stafford Crown Court
Joseph Trevor pled guilty at Stafford Crown Court. Picture: PA

Heartbroken relatives have paid tribute to "amazing, caring and kind" Megan.

In a tribute read in court on behalf of the family, Miss Newton's grandmother Beryl Smith read her granddaughter's personal statement, submitted as part of her university application in December 2018.

In court, as Trevor wept quietly in the dock a few yards away from his victim's family, Ms Smith said: "Megan's death has wiped out that spark in our lies.

"I wake each morning and for a few seconds life seems normal, but then reality hits. I see her in the mortuary, grey and still.

"We're heartbroken and always will remain so.

"Our beautiful Megan didn't deserve any of this, but she does now deserve to rest in peace."

She added that Miss Newton's mother, Sarah Newton, felt she had a "best friend" in her daughter but had lost the promise of her life and future grandchildren.

"She is not the same person any more. She knows that herself and we see it every day as her family," Ms Smith added.

Miss Newton's father Michael Baggaley said that when he last saw her, the month of her death, Miss Newton had told him: "See you later Dad - love you."

"The thought of never seeing her beautiful smile or hearing her voice again breaks my heart," he said.

"How beautiful she looked at her prom night.

"My life has been ripped apart.

"How could this happen to such an amazing, caring, kind, loving, funny young lady. This is something I will never understand and get over."