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A UK woman who was convicted in the 2020 murder and dismemberment of her roommate has been sentenced to 23 years in prison.
Gareeca Gordon, 28, admitted to murdering and dismembering Phoenix Netts, her roommate and former friend. Netts body was found burned and stuffed into two suitcases in the Forest of Dean.
“Her future was looking bright, shining and promising,” High Court judge Justice Cutts told Gordon, the Guardian reported. “ A fresh start was ahead of her. You robbed her of that fresh start. You took her from the supportive parents who loved and cherished her.”
Cutts described Gordon as a “wicked,” “callous,” and “very dangerous young woman.”
Netts was killed on April 16, 2020, days after she supposedly rebuffed Gordon’s sexual advances.
“There's a girl here who keeps asking me to be sexual,” Netts wrote in messages a week before her slaying, according to the BBC. "I think I'm going to move back to London. It's scaring me lol."
Investigators said Gordon was “devious,” “cold,” and “evasive” when she was discovered in possession of Netts’ remains.
"When they tried to look in the suitcase she tried to push them away so officers thought perhaps there were drugs or stolen property in it," Gloucestershire Police Detective Chief Inspector John Turner said. “When they eventually opened it they were really shocked to find a dismembered body in there.”
After killing Netts, Gordon impersonated her, officials said. Detectives later learned Gordon sent texts, emails, and voice notes to Netts’ friends, relatives, and parents pretending to be the murdered woman in order to cover up the killing. Gordon also downloaded an app that allowed her to edit voice messages — and ultimately alter her voice to sound more like Netts’.
"She went to great lengths to pretend Phoenix was still alive and had moved out of the area, as well as great efforts to dispose of her body, hoping her despicable crime would go unnoticed," Detective Superintendent Scott Griffiths said.
Gordon also scoured the internet using search terms such as “How do killers get caught?” “Can someone recover from getting stabbed?” and “Can a body burn to ashes with petrol?” the Guardian reported.
According to court filings, Gordon’s mother, who wasn’t identified, described her daughter as a “ticking time bomb,” the newspaper also reported. She added, however, that Gordon wasn’t “a bad person at heart.”
The Birmingham woman may have a personality disorder.
Authorities said the case was “extremely distressing” for Netts’ loved ones.
“Our lives have been irreversibly changed and the anguish is indescribable," her father, Mark Netts, told the court in a victim impact statement.
"[We’re] forever devastated, forever empty," Nett’s mother, Saskia, added.
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