A 24-year-old woman who was found guilty of murdering her fiancé has been sentenced.
Alice Wood was convicted of the murder of 24-year-old Ryan Watson at Chester Crown Court on Tuesday 2 January, following a three-week trial.
Wood, of Draycott Cross Road, Cheadle, was sentenced on Friday 2 February where she was handed a life sentence and told she must serve a minimum of 18 years.
Ryan was killed on Friday 6 May 2022, after Wood repeatedly and deliberately drove her car at him in what witnesses described as a game of ‘chicken’ after she lost her temper.
The pair had returned to their home at the time in Oak Street, Rode Heath, shortly after 11pm that evening, after attending a party in Hanley, at which both had been drinking alcohol.
Wood drove Ryan’s vehicle home, a Fiat Punto, and both exited the vehicle. At around 11.20pm, Wood was seen on CCTV getting into her own car, a Ford Fiesta, and reversing it out of its space while Ryan is seen walking around in the vicinity.
Around this time, neighbours reported hearing shouting, doors slamming, and a car engine revving. CCTV shows the Fiesta reversing towards Ryan, almost hitting him.
Wood drove towards Ryan a second time, onto Sandbach Road, knocking him onto the bonnet. Footage showed Ryan walking away from the collision but Wood deliberately drove at him a third time, hitting him and causing him to go under the car.
Wood continued to drive for approximately 160m near to Keats Drive with Ryan still under the vehicle, before stopping and presenting at a nearby address. She told the resident; ‘please phone an ambulance, I think I’ve run over my boyfriend’.
Emergency services responded and paramedics sadly pronounced Ryan dead at the scene. Officers attended and spoke to Wood, subsequently arresting her due to the disclosures she had made.
She also failed a roadside breath test and was found to have 61 micrograms of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath, over the legal limit of 35. Upon arrest she told officers; ‘it’s fine, I deserve it’.
During interview on Saturday 7 May 2022, Wood answered no comment to all questions put to her and was conditionally bailed. When additional evidence came to light, Wood was further arrested and charged with murder on Thursday 26 May 2022.
Following the sentencing, Detective Inspector Nigel Parr said:
“The night Ryan died, Wood used her vehicle as a weapon, while under the influence of alcohol, deliberately driving at him and even continuing to drive after knocking him down.
“She knew what she had done, but she refused to take accountability for her actions, forcing Ryan’s family to sit through a trial and watch footage of his final moments.
“Throughout the trial Wood proclaimed her innocence, but thankfully the jury saw through her lies, and she was found guilty of Ryan’s murder.
“While nothing is going to bring Ryan back, I hope the sentence handed to Wood will bring some sense of closure for his family, knowing that justice has been served.
“Our thoughts remain with Ryan’s family and friends at this time.”
A statement from Ryan’s family reads:
“We are very grateful today for the sentence handed to Alice by His Honour Judge Leeming for the murder of our son Ryan.
“It gives us some comfort to know that she is where she belongs. Unfortunately, it doesn’t bring Ryan home to us. He will be forever missed by all our family and his friends.
“He was the light of our lives. It’s such a tragedy what happened to him, his life was cut short. We thank everyone involved who have helped to achieve justice for Ryan.”