Andrea Waddell: murder trial update (11 May 2010)

May 11, 2010

Note: The following excerpts from news reports contain graphic descriptions which may be triggering

Via News & Star:

Andrea Waddell - Image via BBC NewsThe naked, partly-charred body of graduate Andrea Waddell, 29, was discovered by firefighters in the bedroom of her flat in Brighton, East Sussex, last October.

Satellite installer Neil McMillan, 42, formerly of Annan but now living in Brighton, denies her murder.

Lewes Crown Court was told that fractures to Ms Waddell’s throat and ruptured blood vessels around her eyes showed she had been strangled.

Simon Russell-Flint, QC, prosecuting, said: “We are talking about the murder of an unarmed defenceless young woman in her own home. The woman had permitted her attacker to enter into her home for the purpose of sexual activity and was then attacked, strangled by the neck until she was dead.”

The prosecution said McMillan, of Bennett Road, Brighton, had drunk seven pints of lager before taking a taxi to Ms Waddell’s flat.

In the cab he was “worked up and angry” and embarked on a racist tirade, they said.

It was alleged that the pair had sex on Ms Waddell’s bed before he strangled her to death in her bathroom, with her head in the bath. He then torched her body in the bedroom before going home to change his clothes and shower, the jury heard.

Neighbours called 999 after smelling smoke.

When McMillan was arrested two days after the killing, he was found to have various marks on his body, including scratches to his arm, Mr Russell-Flint said.

Whether those injuries were sustained during the death of Ms Waddell or during the course of his work as a satellite installer was a question for the jury, he went on.

Mr Russell-Flint said: “Having been strangled and having been killed, her body was placed on the floor of her bedroom and she was later found lying at a 45-degree angle on her back with her arms and legs raised up in the air.”

McMillan told police that a purple lighter found at the scene could have been his but that it might have fallen out of his pocket.

Via The Argus:

Prosecutor Simon Russell Flint QC said that when McMillan returned to his rented room after visiting her, his landlord noticed a change in his demeanour.

He said McMillan appeared “pale faced compared to his usual ruddy look” and that he was quiet and “didn’t appear to be his normal self”.

“You have to wonder why that may be,” Mr Russell Flint told jurors.

McMillan stripped off his clothes and asked his landlord if he could use the washing machine, saying he needed some clothes for work the following day.

In addition, he showered for the second time that evening and removed the laces from the boots he had worn to Ms Waddell’s flat that evening.

The following day colleagues also noticed a change in his character, the court heard. Mr Russell Flint said: “When Mr McMillan went to work, colleagues noticed he wasn’t his usual self, he seemed subdued and quiet.”

Police were brought into investigate after neighbours heard a smoke alarm sounding and firefighters discovered Ms Waddell’s body in her burnt-out flat allegedly committed by McMillan.

McMillan asked to speak to two officers in their car and he was later arrested.

In custody, he denied being responsible for her killing, telling officers: “I’m in my 40s and I’m Scottish and I didn’t do it.” [via]

The case continues.

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