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Student, 24, who ran over and murdered her fiance after 'losing her temper' jailed for life with minimum of 18 years
2 February 2024, 12:41 | Updated: 2 February 2024, 13:02
A philosophy student who ran over her fiance after she "lost her temper" has been jailed for life with a minimum of 18 years.
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Alice Wood, 23, ran over her boyfriend, Ryan Watson, 24, after driving home from a party on May 6, 2022.
She repeatedly drove her Ford Fiesta at him in what witnesses described as a game of "chicken" near the home they shared in Rode Heath, Cheshire, at around 11.30pm.
Wood was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 18 years at Chester Crown Court on Friday after being found guilty of murder.
Sentencing her, Judge Michael Leeming told the defendant: "Prison may be hard for you Alice Wood but you only have yourself to blame for the situation you now find yourself in."
During her trial, the court heard that the couple had spent the evening at a party in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent, with staff and service users of the brain injury charity Headway, where Mr Watson was a support worker.
Andrew Ford KC, prosecuting, said Mr Watson was seen on CCTV footage "having a good time, being a gregarious and outgoing party guest" while Wood was described by one woman attending as "a bit cold".
A row was said to have broken out between the pair after Mr Watson “clicked” with another woman at the party.
Wood denied murder and an alternative count of manslaughter as she claimed her boyfriend's death was a "tragic accident".
Following the sentencing, Detective Inspector Nigel Parr said: “The night Ryan died, Wood used her vehicle as a weapon, while under the influence of alcohol, deliberately driving at him and even continuing to drive after knocking him down.
“She knew what she had done, but she refused to take accountability for her actions, forcing Ryan’s family to sit through a trial and watch footage of his final moments.
“Throughout the trial Wood proclaimed her innocence, but thankfully the jury saw through her lies, and she was found guilty of Ryan’s murder.
“While nothing is going to bring Ryan back, I hope the sentence handed to Wood will bring some sense of closure for his family, knowing that justice has been served.
“Our thoughts remain with Ryan’s family and friends at this time.”
A statement from Mr Watson’s family read: “We are very grateful today for the sentence handed to Alice by His Honour Judge Leeming for the murder of our son Ryan.
“It gives us some comfort to know that she is where she belongs. Unfortunately, it doesn’t bring Ryan home to us. He will be forever missed by all our family and his friends.
“He was the light of our lives. It’s such a tragedy what happened to him, his life was cut short. We thank everyone involved who have helped to achieve justice for Ryan.”