South East Wales

Millionaire admits strangling escort in video shown to jury

Peter Morgan Image copyright Wales News Service

A millionaire businessman confessed to strangling his escort girlfriend and told police "I didn't think I could do it - I loved her", a court has heard.

Peter Morgan, 54, of Llanellen, Monmouthshire, is on trial at Newport Crown Court for the murder of Georgina Symonds, 25. He denies the charge.

The jury was shown a video of Mr Morgan being questioned by detectives.

In it, he broke down and said: "I can't take it. I have to tell you. I strangled her this morning."

He went on to tell police: "I loved her so much. I just want to tell you the truth about what happened."

The court has heard how Mr Morgan paid Miss Symonds, from the Allt-yr-yn area of Newport, up to £10,000-a-month to be his personal escort.

The married father-of-two was arrested on suspicion of murder in January and asked if he killed Miss Symonds.

The court heard he told detectives: "Yes. I don't know why I done it."

Image copyright Wales News Service

He said he did not like "being blamed for the reason she lost her ex-partner".

"I thought if I can't sort it out, I'm going to kill her. I don't know why I thought that. I honestly don't know what made me do it.

"I got a piece of plastic from my house and some string and I wanted her to stop blaming me."

The court heard Mr Morgan said he did not know "what I was planning on doing" and whether he "wanted to frighten her".

"I arrived and we sorted a few bits out and I told her we need to sort out where we're going. She started blaming me again and saying it was my fault," he told detectives.

"I put the cord around the neck and strangled her."

The court has previously heard from Miss Symonds' best friend Alexy Butcher, who said she had been "very depressed" over the death of her ex-boyfriend and "tried to take her own life".

She said: "Peter Morgan was helping her with her grief as much as he could but she blamed him. She wasn't very nice to him."

In the police video, Mr Morgan described killing Miss Symonds and hiding her body in his white Porsche Cayenne.

Image caption Georgina Symonds had been living in a bungalow at Pencoed Castle that was owned by Mr Morgan

He said: "I put her in the back of my car. The two boys who work for me came down. We put the bath in, loaded the motorbikes and rubbish on and we left.

"I hadn't really planned what I was going to do. I went back to the farm and put her body behind the workbench and went back to work.

"The worrying thing is I didn't feel any guilt at the time."

Earlier, workman Mark Powell told the court Mr Morgan appeared "fine" just minutes after he is alleged to have murdered Miss Symonds.

"He pulled around in his Porsche. He got out and was making jokes. He was teasing me about doing nothing," Mr Powell said.

Mr Morgan denies murder because of diminished responsibility due to Asperger's syndrome.

The trial continues.

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