Oil worker, 31, murdered teenager to silence her after she rejected his sexual advances

Kate Buck

·Breaking News Editor, Yahoo News UK

Tue, 23 August 2022 at 4:57 pm

Lewis Haines has admitted murdering Lily Sullivan, 18.(Wales News)
Lewis Haines has admitted murdering Lily Sullivan, 18.(Wales News)

A 31-year-old man strangled a teenage girl to death in a bid to silence her when she refused his sexual advances after they met in a nightclub, a judge has ruled.

Lily Sullivan, 18, was killed by Lewis Haines, 31, before being left semi-naked in a pond as her mother waited nearby.

Haines confessed to the killing but had claimed it was not sexually motivated. However, at a fact-finding hearing at Swansea Crown Court Judge Paul Thomas QC ruled she was murdered by Haines to prevent her from telling anyone about the attack.

The pair had met in Out Nightclub, Pembroke, on 17 December last year, before walking together in an alleyway.

The judge said Haines had become “frustrated” when Lily made it clear she did not want “to go as far as sexual intercourse”.

Haines claimed that he strangled Lily when she threatened to tell people he was a “rapist” and said his daughter would be “ashamed.”

Lily tried to leave the lane to find her mother who was waiting nearby, but Haines punched and strangled her and pushed her body into the nearby Mill Pond.

Haines fled the scene and walked past Lily’s mother, Anna Sullivan, who had called her 30 times while waiting to pick her up.

(Wales News)
Lily refused Haines’ sexual advances. (Wales News)

Haines later confessed to his girlfriend, telling her: “I’ve strangled somebody. They’re in Mill Pond.”

The court heard Lily’s cream lace top was found on the ground next to the water – while her phone and brown leather jacket were in the alleyway.

Judge Thomas said: “I find that she did say that she would complain. Not that he had raped her but that he tried to force himself upon her when she intended to go to meet her mother.”

The court heard Haines had a “great deal to lose” because he was in a relationship and had also has a daughter – and had wanted to “silence” Lily.

Haines hid her body in the Mill Pond in Pembroke. (Wales News)
Haines hid her body in the Mill Pond in Pembroke. (Wales News)
(Wales News)
Lily’s mum was waiting to pick her up nearby. (Wales News)

The judge said: “Lewis Haines struck Lily on several occasions. That was done with significant force.

“He then strangled her, probably to death, before putting her in the Mill Pond where she would not be easily seen at night in the murky water.

“I do not accept that he went into the water to save Lily. If he went in it was to put her there and not to pull her out.

“His intention was to silence her. He had a phone with him at all times. He was close to the main street albeit late at night. He passed many houses.”

He added: “Her going into the water was a deliberate act on his part. He did not want anyone to know what had happened in the lane. He did not want her to tell anybody.

“It was only after he knew that she would not survive that he let others known where Lily was. By then it was too late.”

Lewis Haines confessed what he'd done to his girlfriend. (Wales News)
Lewis Haines confessed what he’d done to his girlfriend. (Wales News)

The court heard Haines had shown “sexual interest” in Lily during the night out before he was warned off by friends.

Prosecutor William Hughes QC said: “He was warned off more than once and reminded that he had a girlfriend and that he had a child and Lily’s age of 18 being cited.”

Haines, an oil refinery worker, fled the scene when he was captured on CCTV walking past Mrs Sullivan at the nearby Green Garage.

Mrs Sullivan had been waiting to pick her daughter up after speaking to her on the phone at 2.47am.

Lily told her mother: “I’ll be there now mam. I’m on my way. I’m a couple of minutes away. I’m nearly there” – but the call was cut short.

Mrs Sullivan attempted to call her daughter back 30 times before she spotted Haines walking away from the murder scene.

Mr Hughes said: “Anna Sullivan decided to follow Lewis Haines due to his behaviour. She lost sight of him as he disappeared into the woods.

Haines claimed that he strangled Lily when she threatened to tell people he was a
Haines claimed that he strangled Lily when she threatened to tell people he was a “rapist” (Wales News)

“Mr Haines was aware that Anna Sullivan was waiting for Lily at that location.”

He added: “The person Anna Sullivan saw at this point was her daughter’s killer Lewis Haines.”

Lily was pronounced dead at 6.02am, after paramedics battled to dave her.

A post mortem by Dr Stephen Leadbeatter found her injuries consistent with “manual strangulation.”

Haines told police: “I strangled her” when they arrived at the address. He later said “What have I done?” at the custody desk at the station.

Haines previously admitted manslaughter but pleaded guilty to murder a week before his trial.

Judge Paul Thomas QC adjourned the hearing for sentencing on Friday.

Published by anthonyhayble

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