A 31-year-old village cricketer has appeared in court charged with the murder of a teenage girl he ‘met at a Christmas party.’
Father-of-two Lewis Haines is accused of strangling Lily Sullivan, 18, and dumping her body in a pond at a beauty spot.
The court heard Miss Sullivan was found dead near Mill Pond, in Pembroke, shortly after 4am Friday, just a few hours after allegedly meeting Haines for the first time.
Prosecutor Michael Cray said: ‘On the 17th of December Lewis Haines took a lift to Pembroke and went to Paddles nightclub now known as The Out.’
Haines, dressed in a grey sweatshirt, only spoke to confirm his name, address and date of birth during a five-minute hearing at Haverfordwest Law Courts.
He was remanded in custody and will appear at Swansea Crown Court on Thursday December 23.
The teenager’s mother Anna was said to be ‘devastated’ at losing her only child just a week before Christmas.
Scaffolder Haines, who lives with his partner in Lamphey, Pembroke, made no formal plea and his lawyer Tom Lloyd did not address the court.
Father-of-two Haines plays wicketkeeper for Lamphey Cricket Club, near Pembroke, and is described as a ‘hard-hitting’ batsman who ‘likes to party and celebrate the wins’.
Flowers have been laid at the mill pond next to historic Pembroke Castle in memory of supermarket worker Miss Sullivan.
A family tribute said: ‘Lily was a kind and caring daughter who will be deeply missed by everyone. The family are very thankful to all of Lily’s friends for their support.’
Detectives are still appealing for help from anyone who saw Miss Sullivan at the Christmas festivities in the nightclub last week.
Family friend Byron John said: ‘Lily was a sweet and lovely young woman, well spoken and very grown up for her years.
‘She had the whole of her life in front of her. It’s just terrible. Her mother Anna doted on her, she was an only child and they were very close.’
Anna, originally from Llanelli, was a gifted horsewoman and Miss Sullivan grew up with a love for ponies and the countryside.
But friends said she was a typical 18-year-old who loved fashion, music and nights out with friends.
Police issued a picture of Miss Sullivan taken on the night she was last seen alive.
She was wearing a white cropped top, blue jeans with ripped knees, a white belt and black patent boots. She had a spider tattoo on her chest and her black hair was bleached at the front.
A Dyfed-Powys Police spokesman said: ‘Lily’s family continue to be supported by specialist officers and our thoughts are with them at this incredibly hard time.
‘The investigation team is grateful for the support of the community whilst enquiries were conducted.’
Detectives have appealed for information over the death as they try to pinpoint her final movements.
Miss Sullivan is believed to have been out with friends in the west Wales town from about 7.30pm on Thursday night and officers want to speak to anyone who may have seen her.
She is thought to have vanished from the OUT club on the night of her disappearance.
Detective Supt Paul Jones, said: ‘I would like to thank everyone who has contacted police with information, which is helping us build a picture of what happened to Lily.
‘I would also like to thank the community for their support as the investigation continues.’
A large cordon set up around the ponds has now been removed.
The Pembroke Mill Pond powered the ancient corn mill was built soon after the castle was founded and granted to the Knights Templars in 1199
The castle was the birthplace of Henry Tudor and was the original family seat of the Earldom of Pembroke and dates back to 1093. It is the largest privately owned castle in Wales.