Killed ... aspiring model Emily Longley. Photo: Facebook
A violent and jealous boyfriend, afraid his aspiring Kiwi model girlfriend was cheating on him, strangled her in her bed and received help from his parents to cover up the murder, a court in Bournemouth, England, has been told.
Winchester Crown Court heard overnight that Elliot Turner, 20, "went absolutely nuts" when he allegedly strangled 17-year-old Emily Longley in a fit of rage over suspicions she was "twisting his heart", local paper the Bournemouth Echo reported.
Turner's mother, Anita, 51, and father, Leigh, 57, initially said they had heard Emily talking in their son's bedroom, even though the prosecution say she was already dead.
Turner told police he and Longley had argued the night before and she had attacked him, and that when he woke up beside her she was dead.
When police came to arrest him, his bags were packed and his passport was in his pocket, the court heard.
Leigh and Anita Turner are charged with perverting the course of justice, after allegedly helping their son cover the murder up.
It was alleged that Leigh Turner created a diversion for police, by dropping his tablets on the floor, while Anita Turner removed her son's jacket from the bedroom.
The court heard that in the weeks after the alleged murder, police bugging tapes which had been placed through the Turner's Bournemouth house had allegedly recorded the pair saying they had destroyed a letter that Elliot Turner had written.
In evidence read out to the court, Leigh Turner was alleged to have said: "Elliot f---ing strangled her."
The court also heard that Leigh Turner stated: "I cannot tell them [the police] about the letter I destroyed by bleach saying he [Elliot Turner] killed her but he didn't mean it."
Earlier he had allegedly said: "We have perverted the course of justice by destroying evidence."
But Anita Turner was heard to say they had been right to do it, the court heard.
The prosecution said Elliot Turner was heard to say: "I just flipped. I went absolutely nuts... I just lost it. I grabbed her as hard as I could. I pushed her like that."
Court hears of killing threats
Prosecutor Tim Mousley, QC, told the jury that Turner and Emily had a "short volatile relationship" which had included Turner being violent towards her in front of friends, and on several occasions saying he would kill her.
"However short their relationship was, during it Elliot Turner showed himself to be threatening, aggressive, violent, controlling and possessive towards Emily Longley.
"These aspects of Elliot Turner became more and more obsessive and culminated in killing Emily Longley in his bedroom in the middle of the night," Mousley said.
There were tell-tale haemorrhages under Longley's eyelids, consistent with neck compression, the court heard.
Mousley said Turner had suspected up to a month before the alleged murder happened in May last year that Emily had been unfaithful when she had returned to Auckland in New Zealand to visit her parents.
Longley was born in Britain but her family had emigrated when she was nine. She had returned to live with her grandparents in Bournemouth, Dorset, to study.
Mousley said Turner had then become angry over a Facebook picture of her "flirting with lads in a car" in New Zealand.
He hated the way she wore revealing clothes and called her a whore on the night the prosecution said he strangled her, the jury of one woman and 11 men were told.
Turner made previous threats to kill Emily using a hammer and even practised how to strangle her with his friend Tom Crowe, the court heard.
The pair argued and then made up several times in April and May with Turner buying her flowers and a Twix (a chocolate bar) but then Emily texted him to say: "Hit me with a mallet? Do what ever you want to me - I will never get back with you. I actually hate you."
Mousley told the court that Turner was suspicious Emily had been seeing three men in the Bournemouth area in addition to his fears she had been unfaithful while in New Zealand.
Turner's fears were written down by Emily after they went away to the Isle of Man.
In a note on hotel paper Emily wrote: "I love you. Don't say you will kill me. Stop talking about your ex-girlfriend and stop being so constantly aggressive. Be more cool because that's so much more hot."
The jury heard that on one occasion in the weeks before Emily died Turner had told friends he had killed her using the hammer in a nightclub car park but then said he was joking.
Mousley said that Elliot Turner's fears and anger led to the alleged murder in the early hours of May 7. Despite a series of rows and violence, Emily agreed to stay at his home that night - the ambulance was not called until 9.45 the next morning after several phone calls between parents and son.
When Turner was arrested he said: "I never meant to harm her, I just defended myself." He then made no comment in police interviews, the Echo reported.
Police examined his computer and found searches about death by strangulation, the court heard.
The jury was told Leigh Turner admitted destroying the letter and distracting police so the jacket could be removed. He said he had returned home from the jewellery shop to find Elliot Turner with his bags packed.
Anita Turner admitted taking the jacket but could not account for the delay in calling for an ambulance, the court heard.
Longley's father, Whakatane newspaper editor Mark Longley, her mother Caroline and younger sister Hannah are in England for the trial and her father has said they will attend every day of the trial, which is set to last four weeks.
Fairfax NZ News