How the death of a teenage girl at the hands of her brother shook two communities 75 miles apart to the core


It was the summer holidays and one of the busiest weekends of the year at the Ty Mawr trailer park.

But when the air ambulance landed on the road, many tourists began to realize that something had gone seriously wrong.

Soon, a caravan was cordoned off and the resort near Rhyl, on the North Wales coast, was packed with police and paramedics.

As speculation mounted, it emerged that the body of a 15-year-old girl had been discovered in one of the caravans following reports of “domestic disturbances”.

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Police announced that a 19-year-old man had been arrested on suspicion of murder and was being questioned at the nearby St Asaph Police Station.

“This is a tragic but isolated incident and there are no risks to members of the public,” Superintendent Mark Pierce said at the time.

“We would like to thank the staff and management of Ty Mawr, and the local and holiday public, for their support as we carry out our investigations.

amanda selby

“Our thoughts are with the family who are being supported by specially trained officers at this time.”

The news shook the small resort.

Kay Redhead, Mayor of Towyn and Kinmel Bay, said: “It has shocked us to the core. This is a fantastic place where we welcome everyone.

“This time of year we have an additional 45,000 to 50,000 people in the area and with the holidays at home everything is ready.

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Matthew Selby, 19, arrives for a pre-hearing at Llandudno Magistrates

“Ty Mawr is a well organized and managed family camp and when something like this happens it affects everyone.”

“It’s a tragic situation.”

Mother-of-two Carly Hargreaves, 44, who had arrived on holiday from Manchester the day before, said: “We stood two rows behind where it happened and didn’t hear a thing.

“I can’t stop thinking about it because my son is 16. Going on vacation and not coming home to that special someone is tragic. It’s a normal family-oriented place.”

A spokesperson for the holiday park said: “We are shocked and saddened by this tragic incident.

“This was an isolated and unprecedented incident that took place inside a trailer that is now a crime scene.

“Our team is assisting the police with their investigations and as this is a police matter we are unable to comment further at this time.”

Police at Ty Mawr Holiday Park following Amanda’s death

Three days later, on Tuesday 3 August last year, Matthew Selby, of Windermere Crescent, Ashton-under-Lyne, appeared in court charged with murder.

It was learned that the victim was her younger sister, Amanda.

In a heartbreaking tribute, Amanda’s family described her as a ‘loving daughter and granddaughter’.

“She was caring, considerate, liked to help others and loved her very much,” they added.

“She will be very sadly missed.”

Court artist’s sketch of Matthew Selby, 19, appearing at Mold Crown Court charged with the murder of his 15-year-old sister Amanda

As news reached his hometown, the community began to pay their own tributes.

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Droylsden Academy, where Amanda was a Year 10 student, said they were “devastated by this terrible news”.

“Amanda was a lovely student and will be greatly missed by students and staff,” a message on the school’s website added.

Amanda’s Jiu Jitsu club, Kamiza Dojo, said that she and her mother had been a big part of the club for many years.

It read: “Our club is saddened to hear the tragic news that one of our students, Amanda Selby, lost her life while on vacation with her family.

“The Kamiza Dojo family is truly devastated by this terrible news…

“We are truly heartbroken, Amanda will be sorely missed.”

Opening an investigation heard that Amanda had been on vacation with her family when she was murdered.

The provisional cause of death has been given as suffocation due to neck compression, external airway obstruction and crush asphyxiation, the coroner was told.

She was pronounced dead at 4:15 pm on Saturday, July 31.

Matthew Selby was due to stand trial for murder later this month.

But at a brief hearing in Mold Crown Court on Monday, where he appeared via video link from HMP Berwyn, he pleaded guilty to the involuntary manslaughter of his sister Amanda.

The guilty plea had been accepted based on a careful analysis of psychiatric reports, said Ian Unsworth QC, a prosecutor.

Selby would be seen by a psychiatrist again before his sentencing, his lawyer Gordon Cole QC said.

Judge Rowlands adjourned the case for sentencing on March 18.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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