Man, 25, who killed model ex before dumping her body in river jailed for life


Charles Byrne killed his ex-partner Christina Rowe while seriously mentally unwell and he then proceeded to dump her body in the River Severn not far from where he lived at the time

Charles Byrne, 25
Charles Byrne has admitted killing his ex-girlfriend

A man who killed his ex-girlfriend and dumped her body has been sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum of 16 years.

Charles Byrne had already admitted to the shocking crime of the manslaughter of Christina Rowe, his ex-partner, in court on June 1 last year, on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

The 25-year-old killed her and dumped her body in the River Severn in Worcester between February 9 and 10, 2021.

Then, on Monday, on the first day of his trial, he admitted to attempting to kill another person over the same period.

A court order was made preventing the naming of the second victim.

Today Bryne was handed a life sentence with a minimum of 16 years, but instead of being detained behind bars, the judge has said he will be detained at Ashworth Hospital.

He will then be transferred to prison when he no longer needs to be at the hospital.

Model Christina lived in Worcester


George Devereux/ SWNS)

Ahead of sentencing today, Christina’s devastated father read out a statement to the court and said the impact of his daughter’s death had “been immeasurable” and has “caused immense trauma.”

Her sister added: “I long for my sister’s hug and warmth.”

Byrne and Christina met on a dating app before their relationship came to an end, the court heard.

Prosecutors told the court how after Bryne killed her, he stuffed her body into a suitcase and then drove to an industrial estate where he dumped it into the River Severn.

Christina had suffered a stab wound to the front of the chest which “went through the heart”, the prosecution said.

The prosecution has said Byrne was suffering from a mental illness at the time of the offenses which caused “delusions and disordered thoughts”, but they went on to suggest that Byrne knew what he was doing was wrong and said that his “mental illness does not extinguish his responsibility or culpability” when it comes to Christina’s death.

Byrne, from Worcester, is already a patient at the high-security Ashworth Hospital, and during his court hearing, he only spoke to confirm his identity and enter into a plea.

His barrister, Gurdeep Garcha QC, read the basis on which Byrne had entered his plea.

Mr Garcha said: “May I read into record… the basis of plea. The defendant pleads guilty on the following basis:

“He was seriously mentally unwell at the time of the incident, as referenced in medical evidence.”

Her body was found dumped in the River Severn, in Worcester


George Devereux/ SWNS)

Miss Rowe, originally from Philippines, had a child


George Devereux/ SWNS)

I have added that the “intent to kill” had been formed in a “fleeting” moment.

Speaking at the time, Mr Justice Edward Pepperall QC adjourned the case for sentencing, he said: “The resolution of these matters will be of enormous importance to Miss Rowe’s family.

“Whilst important that time be allowed for this to be done properly, it is also important there’s some certainty as to when the case comes back to court.”

Addressing Byrne, he said: “I must adjourn this matter for sentence because it is acknowledged by both the prosecution and defense in this case that you are psychiatrically unwell.

Worcester Crown Court where Byrne was sentenced


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“Therefore, it is necessary I can properly take account of the true extent and nature of your psychiatric condition before I pass sentence.

“There will therefore be some delay in order so the defense and prosecution can properly investigate your mental health.

“Simply because I am adjourning the case for the benefit of psychiatric reports should not lead you or anybody else in court to assume I am minded to make psychiatric disposal of this case.

“All options plainly remain open to me when I sentence you next year.”

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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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