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"Evil" Beekeeping Drug Addict Jailed For Stabbing To Death Vulnerable Family Friend

Matthew Reynolds has been handed a life sentence over the death of a family friend who was stabbed during a robbery. The drug addict was also sentenced for using an axe in a Post Office robbery three days before the fatal incident.

32-year-old Matthew Reynolds was jailed for life at Winchester Crown Court
32-year-old Matthew Reynolds was jailed for life at Winchester Crown Court

An amateur beekeeper who was branded as "evil" has been sentenced to life in prison for the manslaughter of a "vulnerable, kind" woman who had been a friend of the family since the killer was a young boy.

32-year-old Matthew Reynolds was convicted at Winchester Crown Court of causing the death of Bonnie Harwood, 47, after she was stabbed to death during a robbery at her home in Alton, Hampshire, in the early hours of October 10, 2021.

Judge Angela Morris said that Reynolds should be regarded as "dangerous", and added: "Bonnie Harwood was a kind and caring and generous woman who was much loved by her family and friends, and she is sorely missed."

She continued: "It's an indisputable fact in the days leading up to Bonnie Harwood's death you were spiralling out of control because of your insatiable addiction to crack cocaine and heroin.

"This offence was motivated by greed for the cash and drugs you knew Bonnie Harwood had.

"You are cunning, manipulative, and devoid of any remorse for what you did to Bonnie Harwood. "She was totally vulnerable and helpless."

A statement was read to the court from the victim's mother, Roberta 'Bobby' Harwood, it read: "I can't sleep anymore, each time I close my eyes I see Bonnie fighting him off, I feel physical pain thinking of the terror she would be in. "Bonnie was so caring. He has taken her away from us, this has affected so many people, she was so popular."

The victim's sister, Karen, described Reynolds as an "evil killer" and added: "Bonnie was my little sister, we loved each other. "Bonnie was a kind person, she would help anyone she could. I will never forgive and will miss her forever."

The court heard how drug addict Reynolds stabbed Ms Harwood, who was also a drug user, multiple times during a robbery to steal her drugs and money, before leaving her to bleed to death.

The jury found that Reynolds had not intended to kill Ms Harwood, who suffered from multiple health issues and required a mobility scooter to get around. Giving evidence, Reynolds told the court that he had known Ms Harwood since childhood, and had even gone camping with her family.

The 32-year-old from Alton, said he began using heroin at the age of 14 and had gone on to take crack cocaine.

The amateur beekeeper had sold his beehives and honey to raise money as he had recently lost his job as a yard assistant at a local builder's merchant.

Prosecuting, James Newton-Price QC, told the jury that Reynolds was in a "state of turmoil" on the day of the fatal incident due to drug debts spiralling out of control.

Reynolds was also sentenced to a concurrent three-year sentence for a charge of robbery while using an axe against a woman in a Post Office just three days before the death of Ms Harwood.

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