Mother-of-two strangled and smothered during sex, murder trial told

Court news
Court news

A mother-of-two was strangled and smothered during sex by a killer who then scattered pornography near her body, a court has heard.

A jury was told Charlotte Teeling's body was found a week after her death at the hands of Richard Bailey, who fled his flat and mentioned marriage to rekindle his relationship with an ex-partner.

Bailey, 41, denies murder, claiming that his 33-year-old victim died accidentally during 'rough sex' after asking to be choked at his flat in Cooksey Lane, Kingstanding, Birmingham, in February.

Opening the Crown's case at Birmingham Crown Court, prosecutor Jonas Hankin QC said Bailey met his victim in a shop around five hours before killing her.

Alleging that Bailey intended to kill or cause really serious harm to Miss Teeling, Mr Hankin told jurors that injuries to her neck, mouth and a bone fracture near the base of her tongue suggested significant force had been used.

Mr Hankin told jurors: "The pathologist has concluded that her death was most likely the result of forceful compression of the neck.

"The prosecution case is that while having penetrative intercourse with Charlotte, whether with her consent or without, the defendant caused her death by strangling her and smothering her.

"When he did that he did that deliberately, intending at least to cause really serious harm."

The court was told Miss Teeling, who had lived on the Isle of Wight and also at a women's refuge in Worcester, met Bailey shortly after leaving a Birmingham nightclub at around 5am on February 23.

After meeting Bailey in a shop in Birmingham city centre, Miss Teeling took a taxi with Bailey to his flat at supported accommodation monitored by a support worker.

After killing Miss Teeling, Bailey is alleged to have used her bank card and travelled to Coventry, where he "wormed his way" back into the life of a former partner.

Mr Hankin added: "In reality he needed somewhere to go and he needed somewhere quickly - mention of marriage and love were just designed to oil that process and make sure he could get away from Birmingham as soon as possible."

Jurors were shown a magnified image of a bruise and a cut matching the pattern of a St Christopher necklace found around Miss Teeling's neck.

Mr Hankin told the court: "This is important we say for two reasons. It shows the strangulation was sufficiently forceful and prolonged to abrade and cut the the skin and leave an imprint on her neck.

"The prosecution say it must have been painful and it is inconceivable that Charlotte would not have protested.

"It is a disturbing feature of the case that some of the pornographic material placed on the floor was purchased after Charlotte's death.

"Why and in what circumstances the defendant took pornographic material into that room and put it on the floor near her body, is a matter that will be explored during the trial.

"The prosecution rejects the defendant's account of the killing as false. The extent of Charlotte's injuries do not correlate with the defendant's description of what he did or the degree of force that he actually used."