Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Gosport murder trial: Accused blames mystery knifeman

Kelly-Anne Case Image copyright Family photo
Image caption Kelly-Anne Case was found dead at her home by firefighters on 30 July

A man accused of torturing and murdering a mother of three has told a court she was killed by an unknown man who told him she deserved to die.

Brendan Rowan-Davies is accused of cutting Kelly-Anne Case's throat before setting her home on fire on 30 July.

He denies murder and arson and told a jury he found her body when he was held at knifepoint by the mystery man.

He said he had gone to her home to retrieve some tobacco, which he collected as he escaped from him.

The 29-year-old's trial at Winchester Crown Court heard he went to 27-year-old Ms Case's house in Grange Crescent, Gosport, having left his tobacco there the night before.

'Knife to my throat'

He entered through the open back door and found her body in the bedroom, the jury was told.

Asked under cross-examination what happened as he entered the room, he said: "I felt an arm come over me and a knife to my throat. He told me not to move.

"I asked him why he did it and then he said she deserved it. I was saying 'no-one deserves that'."

Mr Rowan-Davies said he managed to run downstairs and leave. He said he did not know if the man chased him and saw no sign of a fire.

Image caption Ms Case's body was found in an upstairs bedroom at the house in Grange Crescent, Gosport

Prosecutor William Mousley QC said CCTV nearby suggested the defendant left the victim's property between 08:25 and 08:26 - about 40 minutes after he arrived.

The barrister said a witness heard a smoke alarm at 08:23 and two neighbours saw flames in the house from bedding which had been set alight when they called the fire brigade at 08:33.

He said they did not see anyone else leave the house and when firefighters arrived Ms Case was the only person in the property.

Jurors previously heard Ms Case's naked body was found on a bed, with her wrists bound with cable ties.

Mr Mousley put it to the defendant that after he left the house, the man he claimed killed Ms Case must have put cable ties on her and removed the bedding before carrying it downstairs and separating it to start two fires.

"Don't know," replied Mr Rowan-Davies.

The barrister said: "That would leave perhaps three minutes for the man to do all that?"

"Must have," the defendant replied.

Blood on T-shirt

Mr Rowan-Davies said he burnt the clothes he was wearing after leaving the house because he did not want anyone to think he was the killer.

He said there had been blood on his T-shirt but nowhere else.

Mr Mousley asked: "Is it strange that the killer burned evidence at Kelly's and you burned evidence just half an hour or so later in a different place? Is that just a coincidence?"

The defendant said he did not have a lighter while at Ms Case's house.

The court previously heard the defendant, of Haslar Road, Gosport, told Ms Case he "fancied" her the night before she died and tried to covertly film her having sex with his friend.

A post-mortem examination showed her throat had been cut several times and her neck had been "further mutilated" after her death.

The trial continues.

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