Accused in India Chipchase trial told neighbour he was ‘trained to kill with his bare hands’

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The alleged murderer of India Chipchase told his neighbour he had been in the Army and was “trained to kill people with his bare hands”, a jury has been told.

Edward Tenniswood, aged 52, of Stanley Road, Northampton, is currently on trial at Birmingham Crown Court charged with the rape and murder of India Chipchase, aged 20.

The court heard evidence this morning (Monday) from Douglas Killeya, a neighbour of Tenniswood who lived opposite him in Stanley Road.

Mr Killeya recalled an incident when Tenniswood allegedly put his hands around his neck.

He said Tenniswood knocked on his door on June 26, 2015, and asked him if he wanted to go into Northampton town centre for a drink.

The court heard Mr Killeya refused as he did not know Tenniswood well and believed him to be “drunk”.

Mr Killeya said he believed Tenniswood’s behaviour was “odd” as he kept saying how “wonderful” he was.

“He said I was wonderful and that I had a wonderful family,” Mr Killeya told the court.

“His behaviour was odd as he knew nothing about us. He was quite insistent about coming in to the house.

“He kept cupping my face with his hands and telling me how wonderful I was.”

Mr Killeya said Tenniswood then put his both his hands around his throat for about “five seconds” but did not apply any pressure.

The court heard Tenniswood allegedly also told Mr Killeya: “I have been in the Army and have been trained to kill people with my bare hands.”

Mr Killeya said Tenniswood also told him he was suffering from post traumatic stress disorder after serving in the army in Afghanistan.

The court heard he wrote about the incident in his journal because it “unsettled” him.

The jury also heard evidence from a night porter and a receptionist at the Ibis hotel, where Tenniswood was arrested by police on Sunday, January 31.

Francisco Lino, a night porter, said Tenniswood arrived at the hotel at about 10.45pm the day before and spent several hours in the lobby.

Mr Lino said Tenniswood drank coffee and used a computer.

The jury was told Tenniswood asked if he could book a room but was told the hotel was full.

He also asked if he could eat breakfast in the hotel, even if he wasn’t a guest.

The court heard Tenniswood was also seen in the hotel lobby by receptionist Vicente Mendez who believed Tenniswood had “hung round” the hotel lobby all of the morning of Sunday, January 31.

Viktoria Salicheva, who started her shift at 3pm that day, said she had served Tenniswood two pints of lager and had seen him using a hotel computer.

She said she believed that, on some occasions, Tenniswood had been “talking to himself” as nobody was seated near him.

The court heard Tenniswood also asked her to place some notes in a bin, but had wanted to put the paper in the bin himself, rather than give it to her.

The jury also heard from Northamptonshire Police Constable Ian Baylis, who was one of the officers involved in the arrest of Tenniswood at about 6.50pm.

PC Baylis said he searched the rucksack Tenniswood had with him and he discovered a kitchen knife, paperwork and a pair of gloves.

Tenniswood denies rape and murder. The trial continues.

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