Beds, Herts & Bucks

Natalie Hemming murder trial: Partner 'made rape claim to police'

Natalie Hemming Image copyright South Beds News
Image caption Natalie Hemming was last seen alive at her mother's house in Hemel Hempstead

A man accused of killing his partner told police she had been raped and had gone away to "clear her head" in order to explain her disappearance, a court has heard.

Paul Hemming denies murdering Natalie Hemming, 31, at their Milton Keynes home in May, but admits manslaughter.

She was reported missing by her mother on 3 May and a police officer visited the pair's home on the same day.

Mr Hemming, 43, told the officer he had been trying to contact Miss Hemming.

Luton Crown Court heard that when PC Nazia Hussain went to the house in Alderney Avenue she told Mr Hemming that the force wanted to speak to Miss Hemming to establish where she was.

Image copyright South Beds News Agency
Image caption Paul Hemming and his partner Natalie lived together at an address in Alderney Avenue, Newton Leys, Milton Keynes

He said he last had contact with her on 1 May and believed she was with a friend. He told the officer she had not responded to his calls and her phone was switched off.

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Mr Hemming told PC Hussain he believed Miss Hemming had been out with colleagues on 30 April and when she came home told him she had been raped by one of them.

He said he had been "upset" and went to bed, leaving her downstairs, but she left the house during the night.

He said she had not reported the rape because she believed she "was partly responsible" and the rape conviction rate was not high.

"He said she had told him she wanted to get away and stay with a friend and clear her head," PC Hussain said.

Earlier the court heard Mr Hemming had killed her because he was jealous of her new relationship, before dumping her body in woodland 30 miles away in Chandlers Cross, Hertfordshire.

Her badly decomposed body was found on 22 May.

Mr Hemming has admitted obstructing a coroner in the execution of his duty and preventing the lawful and decent burial of a dead body.

The trial continues.

Image copyright South Beds News Agency
Image caption Miss Hemming's body was dumped in woods at Chandlers Cross

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