Woman admits murdering Phoenix Netts after body found in Forest of Dean

·2-min read
Photograph: West Midlands Police/PA
Photograph: West Midlands Police/PA

A woman has admitted murdering Phoenix Netts, 28, whose remains were found in two suitcases in the Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire, England.

Gareeca Conita Gordon, also 28, pleaded guilty to murdering Netts between 14 April and 12 May 2020. The women are believed to have lived in neighbouring rooms at a hostel for women in Birmingham.

Gordon was due to stand trial for Netts’s murder next week but appeared before Bristol crown court via video link from Eastwood Park women’s prison in Gloucestershire to admit the charge.

No details of the motive for the killing or circumstances were given in court and Gordon, who spoke only to confirm her identity and plead guilty, will be sentenced next month. Judge Peter Blair QC, the recorder of Bristol, remanded Gordon in custody.

Police found Netts’s remains near a quarry near Coleford in the Forest of Dean on 12 May last year. The discovery came after a member of the public reported someone driving erratically. The car was located a short while later and the human remains discovered. Officers used DNA analysis to help identify Netts’s body.

A statement released on behalf of her family at the time read: “As a family we are devastated with what has happened to Phoenix. We ask most humbly that our family’s privacy is respected whilst we grieve and come to terms with the loss of Phoenix in such tragic circumstances.

“We have family and good friends supporting us and our thanks go out to all of them. We would also like to thank all the police officers involved in the investigation for their hard work and sensitivity.”

Detectives from West Midlands police took over the lead in the inquiry from the Gloucestershire force. Their searches focused on a women’s hostel in Birmingham.

Netts was originally from Surrey. She had been a promising student but fell on hard times and had been living at the hostel for a number of months.

A man from Wolverhampton, Mahesh Sorathiya, 38, was initially accused of assisting an offender. He drove Gordon to the Forest of Dean but insisted he did not know what she was doing. The charge against him was dismissed.

Gordon, who was wearing glasses and a brown sweatshirt, will be sentenced by the high court judge Mrs Justice Cutts at Bristol crown court on 4 May.

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