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Teen guilty of schoolgirl murder

A 16-year-old has been found guilty of luring his ex-girlfriend to a secluded wood and beating her to death with a rock.

Rebecca Aylward, 15, of Maesteg, near Bridgend, was left lying face down in the rain after the vicious attack last October.

Joshua Davies lured her to a wood in nearby Aberkenfig, then attacked her with a rugby ball-sized rock, a Swansea Crown Court jury found. Rebecca suffered at least six brutal blows to her skull during the killing and was discovered still wearing the new clothes bought for her the day before her death.

Jurors heard how Davies admitted to ‘sometimes’ hating Rebecca and had talked openly about killing her. One of his friends even promised to buy him breakfast if he carried out his threat in what the court was told was a joke.

The teenager denied murder, blaming his best friend, but was convicted after a four-week trial. He listened without emotion as the jury consisting of six men and six women delivered a majority guilty verdict of 10-2. Members of Rebecca’s family cheered briefly upon hearing the verdict.

In a statement, Detective Chief Inspector John Penhale of the South Wales Police Specialist Crime Investigation Team said:

“Our thoughts today are with Rebecca’s parents, relatives and friends who I hope have been given some closure as a result of the jury’s decision.

“This was a tragic incident which brought shock and sadness to a close-knit community.

“I would personally like to thank the community for their support during the investigation and to the prosecution witnesses who gave evidence at the trial.”

Rebecca’s family said: “The pain and horror of losing Rebecca in such horrendous circumstances cannot be put into words.

“Since that Saturday in October 2010 our lives have stopped.

“Rebecca was killed in a senseless and barbaric act. She died at the hands of someone she loved and trusted. We will never forget what he did to her or forgive him for destroying our family.”

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