Cardiff man tried for murder after “vicious, sustained and prolonged” attack of girlfriend

By Silvia Martelli

The former boyfriend of a Cardiff Metropolitan University student who was killed on August 18 last year is being tried over allegations that he beat his girlfriend to death.

Xixi Bi, a 24-year-old Metropolitan University student from China, was allegedly beaten to death by her boyfriend Jordan Matthews, 23, over the night of August 18 and the following day, was pronounced dead at 9:30 am at the University Hospital of Wales.

This Friday, Mr. Matthews appeared at Cardiff Crown Court where he pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of his girlfriend, but denied murder.

Miss Bi had started a Masters in International Hospitality and Events Management in July 2015, and spoke fluent English, French and Spanish. She had been with Mr. Matthews for 16 months and moved in with him in April 2015, supporting him financially. After that, her friends described her as becoming “quiet, withdrawn and submissive”.

On the night of the incident, Shannon Pocknell, who lived above the couple in Ely Road, Llandaff, Cardiff, reported that at around 1:30am on August 19, she could hear Mr. Matthews repeating “Why do you keep doing this?”, something she recalled him screaming on previous occasions. She described his tone of voice as “really shaky, like he was angry”.

Throughout the night, Mrs. Pocknell heard “crying and whining”, and thuds and bangs. The crying kept going until 7am, when Mrs. Pocknell went to sleep. She stated she thought about calling the police but was scared that Mr. Matthews could hear her, as the walls of the flats were “paper thin”.

At 9am, Mr. Matthews called 999, saying he had been “really, really horrible to his girlfriend” and that she was struggling to breathe, despite responding to the CPR he had given her. The paramedics arrived within minutes and found Miss Bi in cardiac arrest. Paramedic Craig Dunn later on described her as “lying on her back”, looking “very bruised and discoloured”.

Mr. Matthews was arrested at the flat while the paramedics tried to revive his girlfriend. He told the police he got very angry after seeing a dating app on her phone, and “hit her around”. However, Paul Lewis QC, prosecuting, told the court it did not appear that the app was installed nor that it had ever been.

Mr. Matthews added they had “make-up sex” after the beating and that, despite being a black belt in karate, he believed it was “nowhere near enough to kill her”.

Miss Bi had suffered numerous and widespread bruises over her head, face, shoulders, chest, arms and legs, which indicated multiple “blunt impacts” by fist, knee or foot. The bruises were so extensive that the doctors did not manage to give an opinion on the number of impacts she had suffered. Mr. Lewis described the attack as “vicious, sustained and prolonged”.

The trial continues.