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Lewis Haines’ sentencing for murder of Lily Sullivan adjourned

Tragic: Lily Sullivan

LEWIS HAINES, 31, appeared in Swansea Crown Court for sentencing this afternoon (July 7).

However, the court was adjourned after new evidence was presented that there was a sexual element to the murder.

Lily’s body was found in the Mill Pond in Pembroke on December 17, 2021.

Haines, of Flemish Court, Lamphey, was scheduled to stand trial for Ms Sullivan’s murder on June 20. However, on June 13, at a hearing in Swansea Crown Court, he changed his plea to guilty.

Today, Judge Paul Thomas QC confirmed to the court that the Crown Prosecution requested a minimum sentence of 30 years, while the defence requested a minimum sentence of 15 years.

“This represents a vast difference,” commented Judge P H Thomas.

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The Crown claimed that when Miss Sullivan’s body was discovered, her state of ‘undress’ indicated that a sexual element had been involved prior to her murder.

Haines’ barrister, John Hipkin QC, requested a brief adjournment to discuss the issue with his client, which was granted by Judge Thomas.

“It is regrettable that this case will have to be put back until later this month,” said defence barrister, John Hipkin QC.

“Material that we need we have not yet got from the Crown which would help us in terms of the advice that we tend to Mr Haines.”

Today’s new evidence presented by the Crown in relation to Lewis Haines’ proposed sentencing has been described as a “substantial issue” by defence barrister John Hipkin.

“It’s a substantial issue and is one that requires proper consideration and instruction to be determined,” he added.

” What we envisage doing is speaking to the defendant in custody armed with further information from the Prosecution and then what form we envisage the case proceeding to sentence.”

Judge Paul Thomas QC stated that an adjournment is required before he can make a decision on Haines’ sentence.

He said: “It’s very important that this matter is dealt with as soon as possible but it’s equally important that I get the sentence right.”

Members of Lily Sullivan’s family were in court, awaiting the sentencing.

Judge Paul Thomas QC apologised to them for the unprecedented turn of events that occurred today.

“I’m terribly sorry that we can’t deal with this today,

“It must be terribly frustrating for all of you, having psyched yourselves up, simply to find that we can’t go to sentence today. I am sorry.

“But the most important thing here is to make the sentence right. So with my real apologies, we’ll try to find a date that’s acceptable.”

The case against Lewis Haines has been postponed until July 28, with the substantive hearing scheduled for July 22 and possibly part of July 23.

Lily was tragically murdered on December 17 after a night out in ‘Out’ Nightclub, which is located on Main Street, Pembroke.

CCTV footage shows Ms Sullivan speaking to Haines in the nightclub before leaving separately. Additional footage also shows the two of them speaking once again outside of the club.

The pair were seen walking down an alleyway headed towards Mill Pond where Lily’s body was later discovered.

Another image captured by CCTV showed Haines running along a bridge close to Pembroke Castle.

At a previous inquest hearing, Coroner’s officer, Lisa Jenkins, stated that police were called to the Mill Pond at 4:12am following reports that a female body had been seen in the water.

Despite resuscitation attempts Lily was pronounced dead at 6.02am. It was later revealed that she had been strangled to death.

Following her death, Miss Sullivan’s family released a statement. It said: “Lily was a kind and caring daughter,

“She will be deeply missed by everyone. The family are very thankful to all of Lily’s friends for their support.”

Father of two, Haines, was a well-known cricket player who was wicket keeper for his local team – Lamphey.

He had been described as “a hard-hitting batsman” who “liked to party and celebrate the wins.”