Dad, 31, strangled teenage girl and left her in reservoir after she refused to have sex with him

Lewis Haines, 31, murdered 18-year-old Lily Sullivan after he met her at a nightclub in Pembroke. Wales

Published

A man who strangled a teenager and left her in a reservoir after she refused to have sex with him has been jailed for life with a minimum term of 23 years and four months.

Lewis Haines, 31, murdered 18-year-old Lily Sullivan after he met her inside a nightclub in Pembroke, south-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 Ms Sullivan was later found face down and topless in Mill Pond, a two-mile-long freshwater reservoir near the town.

Screengrab taken from handout CCTV issued by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) of Lewis Haines with Lily Sullivan
Screengrab taken from handout CCTV issued by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) of Lewis Haines with Lily Sullivan

After murdering the teenager, Haines, who had a girlfriend at the time, walked past his victim’s mother as she waited to pick her daughter up from a nearby garage.

Father-of-one Haines admitted murdering Ms 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.

Judge Thomas said it was clear that after spending around an hour in an alleyway together, Haines had become “frustrated” and attacked Miss Sullivan.

Her tobacco tin, mobile phone and leather jacket were later found strewn on the ground in the lane.

Haines made Ms Sullivan walk to the lake, a short distance away, and “forcibly” removed her cream lace top.

Lily Sullivan
Lily Sullivan

He later claimed Miss Sullivan had threatened to accuse him of rape.

Judge Thomas said part of the defendant’s story held an “element based in truth” and that he had a “great deal to lose”.

At the time, Haines was going through family court proceedings to have access to his child, and had a girlfriend.

“He strangled Lily in order to prevent her telling people he had tried to get her to go further than she was willing,” Judge Thomas said.

“His intention was to silence her.

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

Miss Sullivan’s social media contained a number of poignant posts about misogyny, sexual violence and women being killed by men.

One of her Instagram stories contained a photograph taken of floral tributes left for Sarah Everard with a sign that read: “She was just walking home.”

Another post several weeks later listed 80 women who had been killed by men since Miss Everard was murdered by Met Police officer Wayne Couzens.

Others included words such as “Men shouldn’t be making laws about women’s bodies”, “Maybe not all men, but all women”, and a guide on how to recognise if you have been spiked.