Lily Sullivan, 18, murdered by a 31-year-old man after rejecting his advances

Lily’s family said she ‘was a kind and caring daughter who will be deeply missed by everyone’

An 18-year-old girl was murdered by a 31-year-old man after rejecting his sexual advances, a judge has ruled.

On December 17 2021 Lily Sullivan and Lewis Haines left the club, Out in Pembroke, Wales, at similar times in the early hours of the morning. After leaving the club Haines lured Lily into a dark alley, he later punched and strangled her before pushing her into water.

Lily Sullivan’s family said: “Lily was a kind and caring daughter who will be deeply missed by everyone.”

via Dyfed Powys police

Lily was on the phone to her mother, Anna, when the attack began, the Guardian reports. Anna said the line went dead, and the court heard that around the same time someone who lived near by heard a women scream. CCTV footage shows Lily’s phone repeatedly lighting up as her mother called her back 30 times as the attack was going on.

After going down the dimly lit alley with Lily, it is reported that a friend of his shouted at him: “What are you doing? You’ve got a girlfriend … and she’s only 18.”

The judge said to the court: “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 also said that Haines knew people, including his long-term partner, would be angry with his advances on Lily, and said he killed her because he “he couldn’t risk her surviving”.

After Lily had rejected the sexual advances of Haines he strangled her and left her body in the local pond. Haines admitted this to his partner and mother, telling his mother “Sorry mum, I’ve strangled a girl and she is in the pond.” After admitting the crime to his mother, it is believed that Haines’ stepfather phoned the police.

In Swansea Crown Court, Haines admitted to strangling Lily but said the act was not sexually motivated, and that he tried to get her body out of the pond afterwards. The judge, Paul Thomas, said he believes Haines had tried to force himself on her and murdered her when she resisted, and said Haines had not made a “genuine attempt” to retrieve the body, saying he had not called for help.

Haines will be jailed for life in prison, with his minimum term to be set on Friday.

Lily’s family have said they “are very thankful to all of Lily’s friends for their support.”

On Lily’s Instagram, there are hundreds comments with messages such as “Rest in peace beautiful girl❤️”, “Rest in Peace beautiful soul you didn’t deserve that❤️🕊”, and “I can’t believe you’re gone I’ve only just seen it, rest in peace I’ll miss you much and I loved talking to you and how close we were Rest in peace Lily❤️”

One of Lily’s friends posted a tribute to Lily on Instagram captioning the post “I’m sorry this happened. We all love you and we will all miss you. You were the greatest best friend I could ask for. Thank you for the support you gave me and I’ll see you soon 🤍🤍🤍”.

Another of Lily’s friends also posted a tribute on Instagram which was captioned: “dear Lily, you bought so much joy to my life”. They said: “you were perfect, so caring and loving. … the world didn’t deserve you. until we meet again beautiful. i love you and that gorgeous smile of yours 😇🤍🤍🤍”.

If you or someone you know has been affected by this story contact Refuge on their free 24/7 helpline 0808 2000 247 or contact Rape Crisis online for a free confidential chat helpline. You can contact Samaritans on 116 123 at any time. 

Related stories recommended by this writer:

•Missing student nurse Owami Davies has been found and is alive

•Maura Higgins has said she was sexually assaulted by a driver after falling asleep in a taxi

•Cardiff student goes viral after sharing a video of her being harassed on the street

Featured image via Instagram