A WOMAN who lured her ex-boyfriend to a secluded spot where he was battered to death got the punishment she deserved, top judges have ruled.

Rebecca Ryan, 23, of Hilltop Rise, Weeley, was convicted of the murder of Michael Beckwith.

She was sentenced to life imprisonment and ordered to serve a minimum 17 years behind bars at Chelmsford Crown Court in April 2017.

Her lawyers argued the sentence was too harsh pointing to her relative youth, previous good character and having played no part in the actual violence.

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The Court of Appeal heard she was an “impressionable young woman, being led astray by an older and more criminally sophisticated individual”.

But Judge Philip Katz QC concluded: “The judge was entitled to take the view a 17-year minimum term was required. We do not think it was manifestly excessive and this appeal is dismissed.”

Ryan had ended a relationship with Scott Swift, 27, in 2016 and started a new one with Mr Beckwith.

Swift wanted to rekindle his relationship with Ryan and sent threatening text messages to Mr Beckwith, warning him to keep away from her.

The prosecution case was Ryan planned, with Swift and Joseph Smith, 18, to lure the victim to a secluded location to be attacked.

On July 31 2016, Ryan appeared to be upset and told a colleague she had finished with Mr Beckwith.

Ryan lured him to Barrack Lane, Harwich, where Swift and Smith attacked him with metal poles. He died in hospital form his injuries two days later.

Swift, of Station Road, Harwich, was also convicted of murder and handed life, with a minimum term of 24 years.

Smith, of Canning Street, Harwich, got 12 years detention in a Young Offender Institution after being convicted of manslaughter.

The judge who jailed the trio described the assault on Mr Beckwith as “merciless”.