Meredith's British Friends

From The Murder of Meredith Kercher
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Meredith Kercher made friends with several young British women, in Perugia. These were Jade Bidwell, Robyn Butterworth, Amy Frost, Natalie Hayward, Helen Powell, Sophie Purton and Samantha Rodenhurst.

Robyn Carmel Butterworth, arrived in Perugia at the end of September/early October to attend the University, and had found an apartment in Via Bontempi. She met Meredith, soon after, and they became friends.

Amy Frost, like Meredith, was studying languages at Leeds University, and was an Erasmus scholar at Perugia. She was living with Robyn Butterworth in Via Bontempi.

Sophie Purton was studying Italian and Chemistry at Bristol University and was also undertaking an exchange year in Italy.

The day of the murder, November 1, 2007, Meredith spent the evening with these friends, at Butterworth's house in Via Bontempi. They prepared and ate a pizza, looked at Halloween photos from the previous evening, watched a film and prepared and ate an apple crumble. Shortly before 9 pm, Meredith and Sophie Purton left. They parted company at about 8:55 pm, near Purton's apartment (which Purton returned to in time to see a TV program starting at 9 pm). That was the last time Meredith was seen alive by anyone, apart from her murderers.

Natalie Hayward met Meredith when they both arrived in Perugia, in early September 2007, to study at the University for Foreigners. They saw each other almost every day for the two months prior to the murder. She last saw Meredith on the night of Halloween, October 31, when they had dinner with other friends and then dressed up and went out to the pubs and clubs, with Meredith as a vampire, and Nathalie as a witch.

She was very upset by the murder and left Perugia within a few days, completing her study year at Sussex, instead, and then going on to study psychotherapy at Regent's College.

Samantha Rodenhurst, Jade Bidwell and Helen Powell were also classmates of Meredith at the University for Foreigners and were also part of the Halloween party. Samantha was from Bridgend, Wales; Jade was from Birkenhead, Merseyside and Helen was from Redhill, Surrey.

All the friends gave statements to police following the murder, and then returned home to England. In some cases, they gave follow-up statements to the English police. All returned to Perugia to give evidence at the Massei Trial of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito, on February 13, 2009. See: