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Schoolgirl Killed Because of a Bet

Rebecca Aylward and Joshua Davies / Photo by The Sun


Rebecca Aylward and Joshua Davies were your everyday young high school sweethearts. They met in high school in Maesteg, South Wales in 2010 dated for three months, and then broke up. The cause of the break-up was never confirmed but Joshua’s version of the story is that Rebecca was trying to get pregnant and he did not want a child. After their breakup, Joshua would constantly talk trash about her to his friends. Eventually, this trash talk turned physical and the whole town of Maesteg was changed forever.

The Crime

On October 23rd, 2010, Rebecca Aylward’s mom called 911 and reported her missing. She had not returned home and her mother and family were worried about her. The next day the police searched the town of Maesteg. Eventually, they found her lifeless body lying in the woods where it was obvious she had been beaten. They found a rock and confirmed it was the murder weapon with the official cause of death to be blunt forced trauma to the head. The police started a full investigation into her life and quickly realized Joshua Davies was somehow involved in the murder. They began investigating him and soon found the connection to her date and time of death. Technology provided all the evidence the investigators needed to prove Rebecca and Joshua were in the woods together and that he was the murderer.

Investigators were able to piece together the following timeline; Joshua left the woods, drank some tea, and watched the movie “No Country for Old Men”. In a calculated move, he then texted Rebecca to ask “if she was ok” because he’d heard that she was missing. While being interrogated Joshua's story began unraveling as he blamed one of his friends for Rebecca’s death. He claimed this friend accompanied them to the woods and got so upset with Rebecca that he killed her. Joshua said he was scared and that’s why he didn’t intervene to save Rebecca. The police questioned all of Joshua’s friends and they uncovered a story that was typically a made-for-TV movie. Joshua went to the cafe before going to meet Rebecca in the woods and actually planned to kill her over a bet.

Two days before the murder, while hanging out in a café, a friend offered to buy him breakfast if he “got rid of her’. The police found the following messages in Joshua’s phone:

Joshua: Don’t say anything but you might just owe me a breakfast.
Friend: Best text I’ve ever read mate. Seriously, if it’s true I am happy to pay for your breakfast.
Joshua: I hope by then it will be done and dusted.

When questioned about these text messages, Joshua claimed they were only joking and it was something he and his friends did often. Based on these text messages, previous evidence, and lack of an alibi, the police made the arrest and felt comfortable with it.

Rebecca Aylward and Joshua Davies / Photo by Daily Express

The Court Case

The court case lasted nearly a year and both the prosecution and defense team were ready to battle. The prosecution shared all of the evidence especially the text messages. They also explained to the court that Rebecca bought a new outfit the day before and wore it to meet Joshua in the woods. They explained that these woods were a popular hang-out area for teenagers and she had no reason to believe she was in any harm. She thought she was getting back together with her boyfriend, but in fact, her ex-boyfriend actually wanted to kill her. Joshua grabbed the rock and beat her to death over a bet with his friends. The defense claimed the texts and other evidence were circumstantial and that high school boys like to joke around.

The jury deliberated for almost 20 hours and eventually found Joshua guilty of murder. He has sentenced to 14 years in prison but many people think he got off easy. He apparently has wifi, tv, and is allowed to play Play Station in prison. The only thing he is not allowed to do is go on social media. His friends also suffered no punishment for their involvement in the murder. There is actually a petition online for harsher punishments for the boys.

If you want to check it out click here.

After the Case

Joshua maintained his innocence during the trial and even after he arrived at the prison. In 2018, 8 years later, Joshua woke up and asked to see a probation officer or guard and admitted to the murder. He said he killed her over a free breakfast. It is believed that he admitted to the murder in order to hopefully have his sentence reduced.

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