Manchester student found guilty of murder after running over her fiancé with car

Alice Wood was told she ‘may never be released’ for killing Ryan Watson in May 2022

A University of Manchester student has been found guilty of the murder of her fiancé, after she ran him over with her car.

Alice Wood denied murdering Ryan Watson after a row broke out between them in May 2022.

The 23-year-old has since been convicted of murder at Chester Crown Court, after the jury found her unanimously guilty, BBC reports.

Wood used her Ford Fiesta to hit partner Ryan Watson, 24, near their home in Cheshire at around 11.30pm on 6th May 2022.

Describing the death of her fiancé as a “tragic accident”, Alice Wood denied both the count of murder and manslaughter.

The couple had attended a party earlier that night and it was reported by witnesses that there was tension between the pair, with them arguing throughout the night. They had both been drinking, and one argument had been about who was to drive them both home.

Wood had also accused Ryan of flirting with another woman at the party, which was held in Hanley and was to celebrate the birthday of a service user of the charity he worked for.

After driving her partner’s car home, Wood got into her own car whilst CCTV shows Watson walking around the area.

Neighbours report hearing shouting and the slamming of doors, before engine revving. CCTV then shows Wood reversing towards Ryan, where the car just misses him. She then drove at Ryan for a second time, where he was knocked onto the bonnet in what was described as a game of “chicken” by witnesses.

Footage which was shown in court shows Ryan walking away from the collision, but then shows Wood driving at him a third time, where she hit him and sent him under the car.

The 23-year-old philosophy student drove for 158 metres before stopping, telling Chester Crown Court she didn’t realise Ryan was trapped under the car. She then asked a nearby resident “please phone an ambulance, I think I’ve run over my boyfriend”.

Wood was over the drink-driving limit at the time, blowing 61 micrograms of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35 micrograms.

Judge Michael Leeming remanded her in custody and Wood was told she “may never be released”. The judge said: “You have been convicted of the murder of Ryan Watson. There is only one sentence that law allows and that is life imprisonment”.

Detective Inspector Nigel Parr from Cheshire Constabulary said: “The night Ryan died, Wood used her vehicle as a weapon while under the influence of alcohol – deliberately driving at him and even continuing to drive after knocking him down.

“Thankfully, as a result of our investigation and the evidence against her, she has been found guilty of Ryan’s murder.”

In their statement, Mr Watson’s family said: “Alice is in prison where she belongs. But no sentence is going to be long enough for what she has taken from us and Ryan, he’ll never get to live his life and fulfil his dreams.”

Alice Wood will be remanded in custody until her sentencing on 29th January.

Featured image via Cheshire Police