South East Wales

Tracey Woodford death trial: Killer's 'disturbing' comment

Christopher May and Tracey Woodford Image copyright Wales News Service/Handout
Image caption Christopher May denies murdering Tracey Woodford

A former butcher who killed and dismembered a woman in Pontypridd told a barmaid "something disturbing" the week before, a court has heard.

Red-headed Tracey Woodford, 47, was discovered at a flat in Pontypridd, Rhondda Cynon Taff, in April.

Christopher May, 50, denies murder at Cardiff Crown Court.

A barmaid at the pub where the pair met said Mr May told her he "loved redheads" before Ms Woodford's death.

The court has heard Mr May strangled Ms Woodford before cutting up her body and placing her head in an underground storm drain.

She was last seen heading in the general direction of Mr May's flat in Andrew's Court, after the pair met at the town's Skinny Dog pub on 21 April.

'Creepy'

Cerys Richards, 19, who works at the pub, said Mr May once came very close to her face before telling her redheads were "perfect people, better than anyone else".

"I thought it was strange, so I backed off and went to the other end of the bar," she said.

"It made me feel uncomfortable at the time. I didn't really want to serve him again after that".

Ms Richards said the week before Ms Woodford went missing, he again struck up conversation with her in the pub.

"He said something disturbing - I didn't like it. He said we (redheads) were good in bed. It was very inappropriate."

She said Mr May's comment was "creepy".

Image caption Christopher May outside court at a previous hearing

Barry Lee Hayman told the jury Mr May instructed him how to bone meat when they both worked at a butcher's shop 30 years ago.

He said Mr May was "very good" with complicated joints.

Earlier, Michael Elley, who lives below Mr May, told the jury he was woken by a loud bang from Mr May's bedroom above at 02:20 BST on 22 April.

He told the jury the thud was followed by footsteps out of the bedroom into the living room and back.

'Perverted'

Mr Elley said he assumed Mr May had "fallen over drunk and then got back up".

He said he did not hear raised voices or the words Mr May claims he said during a verbal spat with Ms Woodford.

Mr May admits causing Ms Woodford's death, but claims he acted in self-defence and lost control during a row.

Prosecutors have "utterly rejected" suggestions they had consensual sex, saying the killing was triggered by a "perverted sexual desire that manifested itself violently".

The trial continues.

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