A teenager was found drowned in a pond after being ‘murdered by a father when they left a nightclub Christmas party together’, an inquest has heard.
Lily Sullivan, 18, had been partying with friends just hours before her body was found in the Mill Ponds close to a castle in the historic town of Pembroke on December 17.
Father-of-one Lewis Haines, 31, has been charged with her murder after allegedly strangling the teenager, a court heard last month.
The opening of an inquest into Lily’s death at Haverfordwest County Hall today heard that police were called to the ponds at 4.12am ‘following reports of a female body in the water’.
Despite resuscitation attempts at the scene, Lily was pronounced dead at 6.02am, the inquest heard.
Coroner Paul Bennett said a full inquest into her death could not take place until an ongoing criminal probe concludes.
Lily Sullivan, 18, was found dead near a pond in Pembrokeshire and a man has been arrested on suspicion of murder. Right, the last picture of Lily taken just hours before her death
Lewis Haines (pictured) is accused of killing 18-year-old Miss Sullivan after the teenager was found near Mill Pond, in Pembroke, shortly after 4am Friday
Mill Pond in Pembroke, Wales, where Lily was found drowned on December 17 last year
He said: ‘The process by which the investigation has been opened has been overtaken by events.’
The coroner subsequently adjourned the inquest to a date to be fixed at a later time.
Haines, a scaffolder of Lamphey, Pembrokeshire, is yet to enter a plea and was remanded in custody when he appeared at Swansea Crown Court last month.
Prosecutor Michael Cray told that court hearing that Lily had been seen on CCTV in Paddles nightclub and later walking through the town, but was later found dead.
He said she and Haines had not been known to each other before the night of the alleged murder, telling the court that Lily had been strangled.
In tribute following her death, Lily’s family said: ‘Lily was a kind and caring daughter who will be deeply missed by everyone.
‘The family are very thankful to all of Lily’s friends for their support.’
Flowers were also laid at the mill pond next to historic Pembroke Castle in memory of supermarket worker Miss Sullivan.
Family friend Byron John added: ‘Lily was a sweet and lovely young woman, well spoken and very grown up for her years.
‘She had the whole of her life in front of her. It’s just terrible. Her mother Anna doted on her, she was an only child and they were very close.’
Forensics officers working near Pembroke Castle in west Wales where Miss Sullivan’s body was found
A large police cordon that was set up over the weekend had now been taken down
Friends said Lily was a gifted horsewoman and grew up with a love for ponies and the countryside.
But friends said she was a typical 18-year-old who loved fashion, music and nights out with friends.
Father-of-two Haines plays wicketkeeper for Lamphey Cricket Club, near Pembroke, and is described as a ‘hard-hitting’ batsman who ‘likes to party and celebrate the wins’.