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Judge rules man murdered teenage girl in Pembroke after she rebuffed sexual advances

23 Aug 2022 3 minute read
Lilly Sullivan picture by Dyfed-Powys Police

A drunken nightclub reveller strangled a teenage girl and dumped her body in a pond after she rebuffed his advances for sex, a judge has ruled.

Lewis Haines, 31, murdered Lily Sullivan after he met her inside a nightclub in Pembroke, west Wales, just before Christmas last year.

The pair had kissed after meeting in the Out nightspot on December 16 and later went to a nearby alleyway together where they became more intimate.

Swansea Crown Court heard the 18-year-old was later found face down and topless in the Mill Pond, a two-mile-long freshwater reservoir near the town.

After murdering Miss Sullivan, Haines walked past his victim’s mother as she waited to pick her daughter up from a nearby garage.

The father-of-one has admitted murdering Miss Sullivan but denied sexual misconduct.

But after a trial of facts, Judge Paul Thomas QC concluded Haines had killed the teenager after she rebuffed his sexual advances.

“It is clear that Lewis Haines wanted to ensure that Lily died. His intention was to silence her,” the judge said.

“He didn’t want anyone to know what had happened in the lane.

“I am sure, however, having been in that lane for some time with Lily and having had intimate contact with her up to a point, Lily decided that she was going home to meet her mother.

“She made it clear from the phone call if nothing else to her mother that she did not want the intimacy between her and Lewis Haines to go as far as sexual intercourse.

“Fuelled as he was by drink, I am sure that Lewis Haines was frustrated by this because he had expectations and hopes that it would go further.”

Element of truth

Haines claimed Miss Sullivan threatened to accuse him of rape and he did not want his partner and family to find out.

“His account of her threatening to tell people what he had done to her does in fact have an element based in truth about it,” the judge said.

“Mr Haines had a great deal to lose. Reasons such as those in my view explain why he strangled Lily in order to prevent her telling people he had tried to get her to go further than she was willing.”

William Hughes QC, prosecuting, had argued that Haines “showed sexual interest in Lily” from the time he met her in the venue, despite being “warned off more than once” by friends.

The court heard how Haines admitted they kissed in the alleyway where her jacket, mobile phone and tobacco were later found.

The teenager’s call to her mother at 2.47am had been cut off mid-sentence and Mr Hughes said it was the Crown’s belief that “Lily was attacked at that point”.

Crop top

He also said that it was their case that Miss Sullivan’s cream-coloured lace crop top had been removed “forcibly” before she was pushed in the water.

John Hipkin QC, defending, said there was no forensic evidence of a sexual contact between the pair or evidence the top had been torn from her body as it remained intact.

Haines claims he tried to pull Miss Sullivan out of the water, but the judge rejected this saying he had made no attempts to save her.

The defendant, who was wearing a white shirt and had a shaved head, held a hand to his head and looked up at the ceiling as the judge spoke.

Haines, of Flemish Court, Lamphey, will be sentenced on Friday.

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