Megan Bills: Ashley Foster jailed for life for murder


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West Midlands Police

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The body of Megan Bills was found 18 days after she was seen on CCTV entering Ashley Foster’s room

A man who strangled a 17-year-old girl and hid her body in a clingfilm-wrapped wardrobe, hours after meeting her, has been jailed for her murder.

Ashley Foster, 24, used his shirt to strangle Megan Bills and left her body to decompose for 18 days at an ex-offenders’ hostel in the West Midlands.

The judge said Foster’s conduct after the killing was “beyond belief”.

Foster was given a life sentence and ordered to serve at least 26 years behind bars.

During the trial, he admitted preventing Megan’s lawful burial but denied murder.

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West Midlands Police

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Jurors deliberated for six hours before finding Ashley Foster guilty of murder

Foster came to the New Path of Life hostel, which provides housing for former offenders, three days after being released from prison for battery and witness intimidation.

Megan’s body was found wrapped in a curtain inside the wardrobe by hostel staff after reports of a smell and was identified through dental records.

Wolverhampton Crown Court heard how Foster told his mother in a letter that he had concealed the teenager’s body after accidentally throttling her during consensual sex.

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Media captionCCTV footage shows Ashley Foster and Megan Bills going into a local shop

Prosecutor Crispin Aylett QC said Foster had “seemed his normal self” as he enjoyed a roast dinner in the aftermath of the murder and said he had smirked at a relative when asked why he needed to buy clingfilm.

Judge James Burbidge QC said after the killing, Foster had celebrated his birthday as normal and boasted about his sex life.

He said: “Megan was vulnerable. Instead of acting in a compassionate, human and decent manner, you not only failed to ring the authorities, you bundled her body in a curtain or bedding and then placed her body in a wardrobe.

“You left her body there to be discovered by others. That in itself is shocking.”

Megan was placed into foster care aged four and found a home with her adoptive parents aged seven.

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PA

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Megan was described by her family as “bubbly, caring and lively”

Her parents said she had gone through a “turbulent” period and had left the family home before her murder but was in the process of returning.

In a statement, Megan’s family paid tribute to the teenager, who they described as “bubbly, caring and lively”.

They said her death was “painful beyond words” and her murder “demonstrates an evil cruelty beyond any decent comprehension”.

Anjuli Shergill, from the Crown Prosecution Service, said Foster had deliberately hidden Megan’s body for weeks, “so that forensic evidence would be destroyed”.

“Foster took Megan’s life for his own sexual gratification. He continued with his life as if nothing had happened.”

Det Insp Caroline Corfield, from West Midlands Police, said: “[Megan] was a vulnerable young lady who would never have imagined the dangerous lair she was walking into when she entered Foster’s room.

“Foster had an unnatural obsession with deviant sexual activity and he disposed of Megan’s young life to satisfy his own twisted desires.”



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