Cheshire Woman Convicted in Drunken Driving Murder Case: May Face Life Sentence

CHESTER, England – Alice Wood, a 23-year-old philosophy student, has been found guilty of the murder of her boyfriend, Ryan Watson, in May 2022. The tragic incident occurred when Wood, in a fit of rage and under the influence of alcohol, used her car as a deadly weapon and fatally injured Watson near their home in Rode Heath, Cheshire.

Wood, who had recently been awarded a scholarship for a master’s program at Cambridge, initially denied murder and an alternative count of manslaughter, claiming that Watson’s death was a “tragic accident.” During her trial at Chester Crown Court, she stated that she was unaware that Watson was trapped underneath her car as she drove 158 meters down the road after an argument.

Judge Michael Leeming informed Wood that she “may never be released” as he ordered her to remain in custody. Despite her defense, she was found guilty of the fatal act. The three-week trial revealed that the couple had attended a party in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent, prior to the tragic events, where Watson worked as a support worker for a brain injury charity called Headway.

Wood’s account of the events leading up to the fatal incident differed from the prosecution’s portrayal. According to her testimony, an argument ensued when she drove Watson home from the party, during which he accused her of flirting with other men. She claimed that the altercation escalated when they returned to their home, culminating in Watson grabbing her and holding her head over the oven hob.

The CCTV footage presented during the trial depicted the intense argument between the two, which ultimately led to Wood reversing her car, hitting Watson’s vehicle, a bin, and a bollard. The video evidence showed the car swerving off the road and striking Watson a second time before dragging him underneath the vehicle.

Wood expressed profound distress during her testimony, describing her shock and horror upon realizing that Watson had been trapped under the car. She immediately sought help from nearby residents and alerted them to the tragic accident.

The sentencing for Alice Wood is scheduled for January 29. The tragic loss of Ryan Watson has left a profound impact on his family, who have expressed their sorrow and devastation following the harrowing events. The prosecutors have emphasized the role of alcohol and jealousy in the fatal incident, shedding light on the profound consequences of such emotional turmoil.