Teenager, 18, Appears In Court Charged With The Murder Of PC David Phillips Who Was Mowed Down And Killed
This is the teenager accused of killing PC David Phillips in a hit and run who appeared in court today charged with his murder.
Clayton Ronald Williams, 18, of Wallasey, is also charged with attempted section 18 wounding against the murdered policeman's colleague PC Birkett as well as burglary and aggravated unauthorised taking of a motor vehicle.
Williams, who spoke only to confirm his name and confirm he understood the charges before being remanded in custody, is accused of running down and killing the married father of three with a stolen Mitsubishi pick-up truck on Merseyside on Monday.
A second man, Phillip Stuart, of Prenton, Wirral, a one-armed 30-year-old believed to be the vehicle's passenger, has been charged with aggravated unauthorised taking of a motor vehicle and burglary. They both appeared at Wirral Magistrates Court today.
It came after police yesterday arrested three women aged 19, 34 and 59, and one man, 39, on suspicion of assisting the suspects. They were all released on bail this morning.
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Couple: Jen Phillips, seen above with her husband Dave, who was killed on Monday when he was knocked down as he tried to stop a stolen vehicle
Held: A van carrying Clayton Ronald Williams, 18, arrives at Wirral Magistrates Court, Birkenhead, where he was remanded in custody and will appear in court again tomorrow
Williams, dressed in a grey T-shirt and jogging bottoms, spoke only to confirm his name and date of birth in a two-minute hearing at Wirral Magistrates' Court.
Prosecutor Helen Graves asked the magistrates for the defendant to remain in handcuffs for the brief hearing and the application was granted.
Three police officers guarded the door to the court, next to press benches crammed with reporters.
There was a heavy police presence outside the courtroom with officers in the corridors and more police outside the court building.
Williams kept his head down for most of the hearing, occasionally scanning the courtroom.
He nodded as Alan Smith, chairman of the bench, told him he would be remanded into custody to appear at Liverpool Crown Court on Friday and replied, "Yeh," when asked if he understood proceedings.
Williams' co-accused, Philip Stuart, 30, was brought into court after a short adjournment.
Stuart, of Prenton, Wirral, is accused of the burglary of Oxton Estates and, the charge sheet states, aggravated vehicle taking and death caused by an accident, after allegedly being carried in the Mitsubishi.
Stuart, who has lost his right arm, was wearing a grey sweatshirt and jogging bottoms, and spoke only to confirm his name and give his address during the brief hearing.
He was remanded into custody to appear at Liverpool Crown Court on October 22.
There was no application for bail and prosecutor Helen Graves said any application at a later date will be opposed.
The charges come after PC Phillips' heartbroken daughters described their 'kind and caring daddy' in a moving video tribute.
His daughters Abi, seven, and Sophie, three, made the memorial video to celebrate the life of the 'best daddy in the world' and their mother Jen, 28, released a set of family photos taken shortly before his death.
Yesterday his tearful family gathered to remember the 'hero in our hearts' and revealed how the father-of-two spent the hours before his final shift playing with his children - his greatest joy in life.
At a press conference Mrs Phillips was too heartbroken to speak but the police officer's sisters, father and best friend spoke of a man who was dedicated to his family and whose dream was to serve in the police.
Earlier yesterday his wife and children laid roses and lillies and blew kisses for the 34-year-old at the spot in Wallesey where he was knocked down and killed.
In the days since his death Abi and Sophie Phillips have made a mural of memories and messages and filmed a poignant video they said their 'daddy was the best daddy in the world because he gave the best kisses and cuddles'.
They also remembered how he played with them in the garden and their holiday of a lifetime to Turkey when 'Daddy was the happiest man there and bought us pancakes and anything we wanted'.
The poignant film, which also featured the police officer's niece and nephew, Thomas, seven, and Annabel, four, also included a series of unseen family photos taken shortly before his death.
Abi, reading handwritten notes on a large piece of paper, said: 'My daddy was kind and caring because he was the funniest daddy ever.'
She added: 'My dad was the best dad ever because he spent all his money on me and my little sister Sophie and my mum and my cousins Annabel aged four and Thomas aged seven. He also spent all his money on all our holidays.'
In the video, Abigail also read a passage, written in red colouring pencil, which said: 'A loving father is always in our hearts and when we're losing a race he will cheer us on to make us win.
'A memory of him in our brain and heart will always make a loved father happy and make everyone happy.'
At a press conference this afternoon, Dave George, the officer's childhood friend and best man at his wedding in 2011, said: 'Words can't describe what Dave means to us and how all his family and friends are hurting at this time.'
He added: 'He was never happier than talking about his wife, children and family.'
His 'first priority in life' was to provide a 'warm, loving home for his family', Mr George said.
Hannah Whieldon, Pc Phillips' middle sister, read a poem her brother wrote and gave to his wife for their fourth wedding anniversary, which said: 'Thank you for blessing me with four wonderful years...you're always the one on whom I can depend, more than my lover, my best friend,' and ending with the line: 'You are my heart, my soul, my eternity.'
Flanked by her family, Jen Phillips held a tissue, sometimes dabbing her eyes as she was overcome by emotion.
Much loved: Jen Phillips blows a kiss for her late husband as she kneels to lay flowers and read the notes and tributes laid for her husband yesterday
Tearful farewell: Grief etched on her face, PC Phillips' widow Jennifer cradles daughter Sophie and comforts her other daughter Abi yesterday
Tender: PC Phillips' widow holds her daughter Sophie in her arms. Earlier the family lay a bouquet at the shrine to the fallen officer
Memories: PC Phillips' children Abi (far right) and Sophie (left holding the mural) have made a video in the days since his death with his niece Annabel (right holding the mural) and Thomas (left)
Overwhelmed: At a press conference attended by PC David Phillips' wife Jen, pictured, his family paid tribute to the hero police officer
Support: David's best man Dave George (left) and sister Hannah Whieldon (right) spoke of a man dedicated to his family and his job
Her sister-in-law Mrs Whieldon said just hours before his final fatal shift he was with his wife filming their girl 'beaming' with smiles, singing and dancing.
She continued: 'Now he will never see his precious girls age even a minute more.
'They'll never be young women to him now. He'll never get to raise his eyebrow disapprovingly at any future boyfriends.
'He'll never walk them down the aisle, glowing with the pride he felt every day for his Abi and Sophie.
'He was stolen from us but, by God, what was stolen from him?'
Mrs Whieldon continued: 'Two girls have been left without a daddy. My mum and dad left without their only son, their eldest child. My sister and I without the big brother who always kept an eye on us, even when, as moody teenagers we'd have really rather he hadn't.
'But beyond all our combined grief - which, believe me, makes it hard to breathe - is that of his beautiful wife Jen.
'She's only 28. It's her birthday next month. She won't be a pampered wife getting breakfast in bed; she will be a grieving widow.'
Mrs Whieldon said after the couple's third date together they each told their mothers: 'I've met the one.'
'No two people were ever more meant for each other, two halves made whole then ripped apart by a moment we can't make sense of.
'They'll (sic) be no more birthdays for our Dave. No more excited children's faces on Christmas morning, no more holidays, no more ballet class or quiet romantic moments.
Much loved: Abi, 7, left, and Sophie, 3, right, with their father PC David Phillips in pictures that were released by the family today
PC Phillips' family and friends gathered for a press conference today. They included (front row left to right) his father Robin, his brother-in-law Nick Whieldon, best friend Dave George, wife Jen, middle-sister Hannah Whieldon, younger sister Kate Phillips and mother Carol. Pictured back row left to right are Jen's stepmother Jackie, Jen's father Robert, Jen's mother Kerry, Jen's sister Rachel and Jen's sister's partner Anna
Light moment: Jen managed to smile as her sister-in-law read out a poem PC Phillips had written to celebrate their fourth wedding anniversary - he spoke of their 126,227,808 seconds together
Heartbroken: PC Phillips' wife Jen, 28, and his daughters Abigail, seven, and Sophie, three, (together centre) this morning visited the spot where he was run down and killed on Monday
'And all we have are hollow memories that can't be held, or hugged and a pain that won't stop.'
The officer's youngest sister, Kate Phillips said: 'I was fortunate enough to call you my brother. He means so much to so many people. He was our world and our world has become a little darker for all who knew him.'
She also described her brother as her "hero".
"It hurts to look ahead and I'm afraid to look back," she said, "so right now I look beside me. And besides me are people I am so proud of, especially our darling Jen, Abi and Sophie."
The first to speak at the emotionally-charged press conference at Merseyside Police HQ was Dave George, the officer's best friend.
He said he had known Pc Phillips since the age of seven and was his best man at his wedding.
It was always his friend's ambition to join the police, becoming a Special Constable before joining the Merseyside force.
"It was a job he loved and excelled at," he added.
Outside his job he was a family man with a passion for football, snooker and golf - and was an Everton fan.
Mr George added: "Dave always harboured the wish that one day soon he would be able to take his daughter Abigail to see her first Everton game. Tragically this isn't to be."
Yesterday morning the policeman's wife Jen Phillips, 28, and his daughters Abi, seven, and Sophie, three, came with family including his parents to the dual carriageway in Wallasey where the 34-year-old was killed by burglars driving a stolen car on Monday.
Bereft: PC Phillips' parents, parents in law, siblings and other loved ones also joined his widow and children to pay their respects in Wallasey
Messages: These notes were left for David by his daughters Abi and Sophie and talked about their love for their 'super hero' dad
Couple: Jen's note to her husband included a picture on their wedding day and she admits she has 'no idea how she'll carry on without him' by her side after he was 'taken away'
His children both left heartbreaking notes for their 'super daddy' telling him how much they love him and will miss him. The media were at the scene today with the consent of his family and Merseyside Police.
His wife Jen - who called him her 'poo bear' - left a wedding photograph with a message saying he was her 'everything' and has 'no idea how I'll carry on with you not by my side'.
The note from his youngest child Sophie, three, read: 'Daddy my hero, my super daddy, my world. I love you so much. I will miss our cuddles, tickles, giggles and smiles. I love you lots and lots. Your little princess Sophie xxx'.
Abi, seven, said: 'Daddy, I love you so much - you are the best daddy in the whole world. You are our hero. I will miss you. Love Abigail xxx'.
Earlier the police officer's wife and children laid bouquets of roses and lillies with blue ribbons - a nod to his beloved Everton FC - and broke down as they read the dozens of messages left for the much-loved police officer since his death on Monday morning.
His wife left a bouquet of while lilies, with the message: 'Dave, my poo Bear!
'I can't believe you've been taken away from me, you are my everything and have no idea how I am going to carry on with you not by my side.
'I love you with every inch of my heart and will miss you so so much, Your Mrs XXXXX.'
The police officer's parents, sisters and parents-in-law also came to the road in Wallasey accompanied by chief constable Sir Jon Murphy, who has said the policeman 'did not stand a chance' as he was hit.
The family arrived in a fleet of eight cars and spent around half an hour at the scene where Pc Phillips was killed.
The officer's widow carried their youngest daughter, Sophie, while Abi clutched her mother's hand and was overcome by tears.
Sophie carried red flowers, tied up with a blue ribbon, and the three were first to approach the dozens of floral bouquets laid by well-wishers.
Mrs Phillips crouched down to lay flowers, gently hugging and encouraging Sophie and Abi, as around a dozen other family members looked on from a short distance.
The rest of his family, including younger sister Kate, parents Robin and Carol, best friend Dave George and Mrs Phillips' parents Robert and Kerry then followed.
Relatives then spent time reading messages among the hundreds of tributes left by members of the public and police colleagues since PC Phillips was killed in the early hours of Monday morning.
They spent about 20 minutes at the scene in total, many in visible distress as they frequently hugged and held each other and huddled together.