Murder of Lily Sullivan: Lewis Haines killed teen and dumped her body in reservoir in 'sexual frustration’
Lewis Haines admitted to killing Lily Sullivan on December 17, 2021, he later told his family that he had 'strangled someone' but refused that the murder was sexually motivated
PEMBROKESHIRE, WALES: Judge Paul Thomas QC, from Swansea Crown Court, has ruled that Lewis Haines was compelled to have sex with Lily Sullivan, a teenager, while intoxicated. After the hearing, it was concluded that the main motive for the murder of Sullivan, 18, was her refusal to have sex with Haines, 31.
Just before Christmas in 2021, Sullivan and Haines, an oil refinery worker, had their first interaction in a Pembroke nightclub, south-west Wales. The two kissed after their initial contact on December 16 and then continued their romance in an adjacent alleyway. When Haines was unsuccessful in his attempts to get sexual with Sullivan, he attempted to kill the 18-year-old by strangling her to death. Sullivan was found face down and topless in the Mill Pond, a two-mile-long freshwater reservoir close to the town.
Haines acknowledged killing Sullivan but said there was no sexual motive. Judge Thomas, however, stated that he was certain that Haines had attempted to force himself on Sullivan and, when she resisted, had killed her in an effort to keep everyone, including his long-term partner, from finding out during a fact-finding hearing at Swansea Crown Court.
NEW: 31-year-old Lewis Haines has been charged with the murder of 18-year-old Lily Sullivan, whose body was found near Mill Pond, in Pembroke, Pembrokeshire, in the early hours of last Friday. pic.twitter.com/eHCUWhq4In— Mike Hughes (@MikeHughes_) December 20, 2021
The judge claimed that although the couple kissed and cuddled, Haines desired sex. He stated, "I am sure Lily decided she was going home. Fuelled as he was by drink, I am sure Mr Haines was frustrated by this. He became forceful; she resisted. I am sure that Lily did not remove her own top voluntarily. I am sure that Mr Haines took it off her before he put her in the pond."
"My firm view is that when he got forceful Lily did say that she would complain that he had tried to force himself upon her," the judge said. Haines is scheduled to be sentenced on Friday, August 26. He could receive a sentence of at least 30 years to life in prison. Judge Thomas stated that Haines killed the teen because he "couldn't risk her surviving" as he knew his girlfriend and other people would be upset with him for his mistreatment.
The court heard that Sullivan's mother, Anna Sullivan, was on the phone with her daughter when the attack started and the line went dead. Someone who lived close by remembered hearing a woman screaming about that time. Anna Sullivan called about thirty times but got no answer. In the alley, Sullivan's phone could be seen lighting up repeatedly in the grainy CCTV footage as her mother tried to call her.
Without considering what might have happened, Anna Sullivan started looking for her daughter as soon as she reached the location. She even stumbled by Haines as he was leaving the area. "I have strangled somebody. They are in the millpond," Haines informed his partner when he arrived back at his house in the Lamphey village.
Later, Haines apologized to his mother, saying, "Sorry mum, I have strangled a girl and she is in the pond." Sullivan's body was discovered face down in the water after his stepfather called the police. A large hair cluster was found in the zip of the teen's handbag, and her blood was spotted in the alley.
Haines acknowledged strangling Sullivan in his defense statement but claimed he had attempted to rescue her from the pond. The judge, noting that he had not requested assistance, claimed that he did not make a "genuine attempt" to help Sullivan. Judge Thomas thanked numerous members of Sullivan's family seated in the public gallery. He applauded their poise throughout the "excruciating" case hearing.