A trial date has been set for a 19-year-old accused of murdering his 15-year-old sister while on a holiday to a busy seaside caravan site near Rhyl in North Wales as the teenage suspect appeared in court today.
Matthew Selby, whose neighbours claim has learning difficulties, appeared at Mold Crown Court charged with the murder of sister Amanda on Saturday afternoon in a camp where hundreds of people were staying on one of the busiest holiday weekends of the year.
North Wales Police say the incident took place at Ty Mawr Holiday Park near Rhyl – a high-end Parkdean resorts venue with a heated indoor pool and a short walk to the beach.
Selby, of Ashton-under-Lyne, Greater Manchester, appeared by videolink from HMP Berwyn for the hearing, which lasted about 15 minutes, and spoke only to confirm his name. He was arrested after officers were called to a report of a ‘domestic disturbance’ at the park at the weekend.
Judge Rhys Rowlands set a provisional trial date for February 28. The case is expected to last five to seven days.
Selby is due to appear for a plea and trial preparation hearing on October 29. An order made under Section 45 of the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999 to ban the naming of the victim was lifted by the judge.
Five members of the press were in court for the hearing, with others watching over videolink.
At his first hearing, which lasted less than two minutes, prosecutor James Neary said there was no entitlement to bail while Selby’s defence solicitor Simon Sargent said: ‘I have nothing to add, save to say this a tragic case.’
Matthew Selby, whose neighbours claim has learning difficulties, appeared at Mold Crown Court charged with the murder of sister Amanda on Saturday afternoon in a camp where hundreds of people were staying on one of the busiest holiday weekends of the year
Selby (court artist sketch left, right at Llandudno Magistrates), appeared by videolink from HMP Berwyn for the hearing, which lasted about 15 minutes, and spoke only to confirm his name
An air ambulance was rushed to the scene at Ty Mawr park in Towyn, north Wales on Saturday afternoon
An air ambulance rushed to the scene on Saturday afternoon, as parts of the Parkdean resort and a caravan were cordoned off while police carried out an investigation in the 100-acre park.
North Wales Police have urged: ‘We would ask the public not to speculate about this incident on social media as this is an active investigation.’
Eyewitnesses reported the air ambulance landed on the A548, which was shut in both directions, at around 3.30pm, with two ambulances and three rapid response vehicles in tow.
A police spokesman said: ‘Following an incident at Ty Mawr Holiday Park, Towyn, on Saturday afternoon, 19-year-old Matthew Selby from the Greater Manchester area has this afternoon been charged with murder’.
Mother of two Carly Hargreaves, 44, who arrived on holiday from Manchester on Friday, said about eight police cars, three ambulances and the air ambulance arrived to the park.
She said from outside the vast caravan and campsite: ‘We are staying two rows behind where it happened and didn’t hear a single thing.
Police were called to a ‘serious incident’ at a Welsh holiday park and warned people to ‘stay away’ after the ‘tragic incident’
‘I can’t stop thinking about it because my son is 16. To come away on holiday and not go home with that special person is tragic. It’s a normal family-orientated site.’
On Sunday, police cars were seen entering the site as investigations continued.
Ty Mawr, close to the sea and part of the Parkdean Resorts chain, is one of the more upmarket holiday venues, with a heated indoor pool among other amenities, a far cry from the rough and ready image of camps of old.
Tens of thousands of holidaymakers are staying in camps along a strip of coastline on what is traditionally one of the busiest weeks of the year.
Images posted from the scene on Saturday showed dozens of people waiting in a car park while an air ambulance and police cars were parked nearby.
Another image showed a caravan which had been taped off by detectives.
Kay Redhead, mayor of Towyn and KInmel Bay said: ‘It’s knocked us to the core. This is a fantastic place where we welcome everyone. This time of year we have 45,000 to 50,000 extra people in the area and with staycation it’s ready bustling. Ty Mawr is a well organised and managed family camp and when something like this happens it affects everybody..’
Mrs Redhead added: ‘I would like to express condolences to the family. It’s a tragic situation.’
A spokesman for Ty Mawr holiday park, which is part of the Parkdean Resorts brand, said at the weekend it was ‘shocked and saddened’ by the incident which it described as ‘isolated and unprecedented’.