Listen to 999 call made by ex-fiance, jailed today, after fatal attack on Michael Beckwith in Harwich
PUBLISHED: 18:26 21 April 2017 | UPDATED: 17:48 23 April 2017
A woman who lured her former fiance to a secluded path where he was savagely beaten by her controlling ex-lover and a student has today been jailed for life.
Rebecca Ryan, 22, of Hilltop Rise, Weeley, was found guilty of the murder of Michael Beckwith after a trial at Chelmsford Crown Court on April 3, and will serve a minimum of 17 years in prison.
Essex Police have also this evening released the 999 emergency call she made after the attack.
Her ex-boyfriend Scott Swift, 28, who carried out the frenzied attack on Mr Beckwith, along with Joseph Smith, 18, was also jailed for life and will serve a minimum of 24 years.
Mr Beckwith, 44, a care worker, was seriously hurt during an attack on July 31 last year, and died days later in hospital, after being lured to a secluded spot in Barrack Lane, Harwich, by Ryan.
Swift and Smith were waiting for Mr Beckwith at the scene with metal bars and their faces covered and launched an attack on the 44-year-old.
Smith, 18, of Canning Street, Harwich, who changed his plea from not guilty of murder to guilty of manslaughter during the trial, was convicted of manslaughter and jailed for 12 years.
Married couple Triston Biddlecombe, 24 and Enderlein Biddlecombe, 20, of East Street, Harwich, who helped Ryan and Swift cover up their plot to kill Mr Beckwith, were each sentenced to three months and two and a half years to run concurrently.
The unemployed couple provided an alibi for Swift and washed his and Smith’s clothes, and were found guilty of assisting an offender and perverting the course of justice at trial.
Chelmsford Crown Court heard how the murder of Mr Beckwith had also led to the death of his mother, Iris.
Amjad Malik QC, prosecutor, said: “The effect of losing her son took its toll on her and weeks prior to the trial, she died from a heart attack.”
Judge Charles Gratwicke, sentencing Swift, said: “You were the prime mover in this case, you recruited Smith, a man younger than you and a man you had at your beck and call.
“There was a significant degree of planning and premeditation. You took a weapon to the scene, which you then used.
“Michael Beckwith was a loving and popular man, he done you Swift no harm at all.”
Addressing Ryan, the judge said: “I accept you took no part in the attack, but what you did was crucial. You delivered him up to a point where he was vulnerable and there was no escape.
“You kept in touch with Swift and Smith, who were lying in wait.”
Of Joseph Smith, the judge said: “I accept you were not the prime mover but again you disguised yourself and armed yourself with a metal bar at the scene and laid in waiting for Michael Beckwith.
“Michael Beckwith himself said, as he lay in the hospital, that you played at active part in the attack on him.”
The court heard how unemployed couple, Triston and Enderlein Biddlecombe, who had provided a false alibi for Swift and assisted in washing clothes, had seen their son taken into care.
The judge told them: “You showed intent to shield Swift from justice. Clearly, it is a very serious offence to shield someone who had murdered another.
“Both of you knew what you were doing, no-one forced you to do it. These offences are most serious and only a custodial sentence will suffice.”
Paying tribute to Mr Beckwith, his family said: “Words cannot express the shock and pain we as a family have suffered since Michael’s early passing.
“His loss is beyond words, especially the events that led to his death.
“Michael had a big heart, as big as the world.
They added: “His death has left a gaping hole in our family.”