Horror of Aussie woman’s final moments
WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT
An Australian woman bludgeoned to death in the shower by her British cross-dressing fiance took more than half an hour to die after he fled, a London court was told.
Roderick Deakin-White, 38, caused "horrific injuries" as he repeatedly struck 35-year-old Amy Parsons with a 60cm metal bar on April 25, jurors heard.
It was also revealed in court that Deakin-White had sent messages to a man Ms Parsons was becoming close to, telling him to "back off" seven days before her death.
Prosecutor Gareth Patterson QC told Snaresbrook Crown Court in London it was "impossible" for a post mortem report to determine how many times Deakin-White battered his fiancee.
Mr Patterson said: "She survived for a short time probably something in the region of one hour, most likely more than 30 minutes.
"The evidence suggests she was still alive in the minutes that followed the defendant's blows. He must have realised that she was still alive. He fled from the scene," Mr Patterson said.
"His actions suggest that he had got to the stage where he basically thought - if I can't have her, nobody else will have her. And that night he did do 'something stupid'. He killed her.
"The prosecution case is that it was a brutal attack on a woman who, while she was showering, was obviously unarmed and wholly defenceless, a woman who was entitled to feel safe and secure in her own home."
The court was told the relationship between Ms Parsons and Deakin-White had broken down after she began a relationship with a work colleague after being turned off by Deakin-White's cross-dressing.
In the two weeks leading up to her death, she became friendly with her colleague James Saunders at London financial services firm Old Mutual.
They went for coffee before meeting for lunch at the trendy New Zealand restaurant Caravan, which was Ms Parsons' favourite restaurant in central London.
Mr Saunders told the court their budding relationship featured a lot of what he called gentle ribbing and what she called "banter".
"Because she is Australian, a lot of it would relate to being an Australian," Mr Saunders told the court.
Ms Parsons and Mr Saunders soon started exchanging hundreds of messages on WhatsApp, which rapidly became flirtatious, with them admitting to having feelings for each other.
The court was told that in the early hours of April 14, she caught an Uber to his home and they spent the night together.
Two days later, Ms Parsons told him she had told Deakin-White that they had been intimate.
They continued to exchange messages and Ms Parsons met Mr Saunders at his home for the second time on April 17.
Ms Parsons mentioned in a message to him later that night that Deakin-White had been "stalking" her WhatsApp profile.
At 3.18am the following morning, Mr Saunders received a WhatsApp message from Deakin-White: "What are (you) playing at, back off. You, what are you playing at, back off." A few hours later, Ms Parsons revealed that she had told Deakin-White "everything" about their secret intimate relationship.
"I woke to 123 text messages and 17 missed calls (from Deakin-White), I still looked at your WhatsApp first," Ms Parsons told Mr Saunders.
The court was told that following the attack, Deakin-White waded into the River Thames to take his own life, but turned around and returned to the river bank.
He fled the scene in Tower Hamlets, East London, but told police he was a "murderer" after being convinced to hand himself in the following day.
He then fled to North London where he got into conversation with a man on a houseboat and told him what he had done. Deakin-White then reportedly confessed to his father on the phone, who rang paramedics.
The man on the houseboat encouraged the defendant to hand himself in and the two men walked towards Tottenham Police Station.
"As they approached the police station they met some police officers who they saw on the street. The defendant again stated that he thought he had killed his fiancee."
The prosecutor said Deakin-White had drunk four beers and champagne with Ms Parsons on the night of the killing but answered "no comment" when asked if he was drunk at the time by police.
Mr Patterson QC said: "He does accept that he caused Amy Parson's death but his case is that he is not guilty of murder but the lesser offence of manslaughter."
The trial continues.
- with AAP