Andrea Waddell: murder trial update (1 June 2010)

June 1, 2010

Via The Metro:

Andrea Waddell and family - Image via Reading ChronicleA man accused of murdering a prostitute in her own home after he visited her for sex told a court today that he never harmed her.

Satellite TV installer Neil McMillan is accused of punching Andrea Waddell in the face, then strangling her and setting fire to her one-bedroom, first-floor flat in Upper Lewes Road, Brighton, East Sussex, on October 15 last year.

Giving evidence at Lewes Crown Court, McMillan, 42, said he contacted Ms Waddell through her profile on the Adult Works website and arranged to visit her for sex.

But he said he did not realise she was the same escort he had booked just two weeks previously but never actually met as he fell asleep.

Cross-examining him, prosecutor Simon Russell Flint QC asked if it was the fact that Ms Waddell, 29, was [a transgender woman] that made him kill her.

But McMillan said he did not find out about this until after his arrest […]

“I did not punch or strangle Andrea Waddell,” he said. “I did not hurt Andrea Waddell in any way. I did not kill her.”

Mr Russell Flint asked him if she died following a sex game involving asphyxiation that went wrong.

“I went to Upper Lewes Road for a bit of straight sex. Nothing extraordinary, if you like,” he said.

He added that he did not get everything he wanted out of the half-hour session as he was unable to get an erection.

But he said this was not something that made him angry at her as it was his own problem. He also did not get annoyed with her because she refused to perform any act on him.

He said he was not a violent person or someone who often got angry or lost control. When asked about his weight, he said he believed he weighed around 16 or 17 stone last October but although he was heavy he did not think he was particularly strong.

Sitting in the witness box, clean-shaven and dressed in a grey pinstripe suit, McMillan also denied he had an “obsession” with sex.

At the moment I’m just recording the various press reports I see about this case; other than a little editing for length and/or content, I’m not planning on commenting in any depth until the trial is more advanced. However, it is interesting to note that – so far, at least – Mr McMillan doesn’t seem to have attempted to use the notorious trans panic defence. Time will tell, though, no doubt.

(There are useful analyses of the trans panic defense by Holly at Feministe and by Jillian Weiss at The Bilerico Project)

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ETA, 2 June 2010: The same story appears pretty much word-for-word in The Argus and BBC News, although the BBC report also has a few other previously reported sentences included, presumably to expand the context a little.

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