A student facing charges of murdering her fiancé broke down in tears while recounting to jurors how he became threatening and volatile before an incident that led to his death. Alice Wood, hailing from Cheshire, shared in court the harrowing moment when she discovered her partner, Ryan Watson, beneath her Ford Fiesta.
The trial at Chester Crown Court unfolded details of the incident on May 6 of the previous year, following a party where Wood alleges Watson accused her of ‘flirting with other men.’ Wood, a 23-year-old philosophy student, is accused of intentionally running over Watson with her Ford Fiesta, causing him fatal injuries. Despite the prosecution characterizing the car as a weapon, Wood vehemently denies charges of both murder and manslaughter.
During her testimony on December 18, Wood described an evening that began with a party involving staff and service users of the brain injury charity Headway, where Watson worked as a support worker. Wood claimed that Watson’s behavior took a negative turn when they left the party in his Fiat Punto, accusing her of flirting and subjecting her to verbal abuse, told Manchester Evening News.
The situation escalated at their Oak Street home, with Wood expressing her desire to call her father for assistance but being unable to locate her phone. She detailed an altercation inside their residence, during which Watson allegedly grabbed her by her hair extensions and made threats while holding the ignition switch. Wood asserted that she asked repeatedly to use Watson’s phone to call her father.
In an emotional account, Wood recounted a moment when Watson, in a fit of anger, threatened harm to her mother. She tearfully shared that she reversed her car out of the parking area, hitting Watson’s car and other objects, before swerving toward him on Sandbach Road to frighten him. Wood claimed she stopped short of hitting him deliberately.
After a brief distance, she stopped the car, feeling it was not accelerating properly, and was horrified upon exiting the vehicle to find Watson underneath. Wood, acknowledging her role in Watson’s death, maintained that it was not intentional and explained seeking medical help afterward due to emotional distress.
The court also learned that Wood and Watson had been in a relationship since March 2020, became engaged in September of that year, and purchased a house together in October 2021. Wood, a theology, philosophy, and ethics student preparing for final exams, had received a scholarship for a research master’s program in May of the incident year.