Sunday, 9 May 2021

Gareeca Gordon: Woman who murdered friend after ‘sexual advances rebuffed’ jailed for life

A woman who murdered and dismembered her friend after demands for a sexual relationship were rejected has been jailed for life with a minimum of 23 and a half years.

Gareeca Gordon killed Phoenix Netts at the Birmingham property where they both lived on 16 April last year.

Bristol Crown Court heard Gordon stabbed Ms Netts four times, before cutting up her body with a circular saw.

She was arrested next to a quarry in the Forest of Dean a month later – with two suitcases containing Ms Netts’ remains.

The killer pleaded guilty to the murder a few days before she was due to stand trial.

Gordon sent texts, voice mails and emails to Ms Netts’ family after the killing to try to convince them she was still alive and had moved to London, the court heard.

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 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.

She had been stabbed four times in her torso, but according to a post-mortem 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.

Gordon paid £45 for a circular saw on Gumtree and the tool was delivered to the property shortly on the morning of April 17.

It was used to cut up the body when Ms Netts was clothed or partially clothed, the post-mortem found.

“Dismemberment took place at five different locations of the body, dividing the body into six parts,” the prosecutor said.

The court heard that Gordon made several trips to the Forest of Dean and tried to burn the remains there.

She was caught when police were called to the Coleford area of the forest during the COVID lockdown on 12 May over reports a car was driving in the area.

It was then they discovered Gordon with the two suitcases. Gordon was arrested when an officer opened one of the cases and found a partially burned torso.

Forensic officers later found the carpet, bed, mattress and underlay had been removed from Ms Netts’ room, the court heard, but there was blood in kitchen, shower and living area.

The circular saw was found in Gordon’s room.

“Handwritten plans and notes concerned with her removing the body from Coleford and moving it to Wales to burn further” were also found, said Mr Smith.

He told the court Ms Netts’ parents had made personal statements about the “profound” pain of their loss.

Mr Smith said it was made worse by “the knowledge of the manner of her death and the defendant impersonating her”.

Detective Superintendent Scott Griffiths, from West Midlands Police, described Gordon’s actions as “calculated”.

“Gareeca even went onto the internet and downloaded an audio application which enabled her to edit some voice messages of Phoenix, to send those via social media platforms to a number of people, which confirmed that she was well and that she was alive,” Mr Griffiths said.

The officer said Ms Nett’s remains were kept in the Forest of Dean for weeks, with Gordon using trains and taxis to travel there from Birmingham.

Police believe she tried to burn the body but when she “failed” put the remains back in the suitcases and had planned to take them to Wales.

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