India Chipchase: Prosecutor says Tenniswood is a ‘delusional’ man who created ‘disturbing fantasy account’

Edward Tenniswood at Birmingham Crown Court
Edward Tenniswood at Birmingham Crown Court

Edward Tenniswood has been described as a “delusional” man who created a “disturbing fantasy account” about the night India Chipchase died.

The 52-year-old denies raping and killing Miss Chipchase, whose body was found at his home in Stanley Road, Northampton, in Northampton on January 30.

In his closing speech today (Monday), prosecutor Christopher Donnellan QC told jurors at Birmingham Crown Court “don’t believe a word this defendant says”.

Mr Donnellan said: “You saw the police officers go into the house and you saw Tenniswood being arrested.

“He said, ‘I’m surprised you were here so quick. It didn’t take you long.’

“He showed no sorrow or regret for what he had done to India Chipchase. Not one word of, ‘It was an accident’.

“He knew she was dead, he knew he had killed her.”

Mr Donnellan said Tenniswood “tidied up and pulled a sheet over her body and her phone was in a box under the stairs.”

He said: “All you have heard from this defendant is his own self-pity. The worst of it came when he said it’s very traumatic dressing a body.

“He described the trauma to himself, not the awful trauma to India, whose life had been squeezed out of her by him.

“Far from getting help, he was only full of his own self-pity. He expressed no sorrow for killing her, but only talked about his own panic and predicament once he had killed her.”

Mr Donnellan told the jury Tenniswood wanted them to know he had dated fashion models but did not want to admit he was attracted to Miss Chipchase.

He said: “He thought it was outrageous of me to suggest he was interested in sex. He did not have same outrage when I suggested he knowingly killed her. He just refuted that.

“If this defendant was looking for a drinking partner, that is one thing that India did not need - another drink.

“We suggest you can’t believe a word the defendant says. It’s garbled nonsense to suggest this girl suddenly sobered up and had a bit of a chat about Steve Jobs.”

Mr Donnellan described the account Tenniswood gave as a “fantasy” and said: “It is impossible to know what happened in that house. He can’t be believed and she was silenced.

“He used the phrase ‘typical India’. What a peculiar phrase, what a delusional phrase.

“He met the girl at 1am blind drunk. How does he know her? How does he know what is typical of India?

“But the phrase is a disturbing one, and tells a disturbing story.

“He has in that remarkably short time decided in his mind he has some sort of relationship with her. But he did not say a word of this in interview.

“We suggest he has deluded himself and is trying to pull the wool over your eyes about what he did.

“The most deluded suggestion is that he did not realise she was dead. We suggest he could not have not seen that she was not moving, not breathing, not even shallow breathing.

“He overpowered her, knowing that if he gripped and continued to hold and hold it would kill her.”

Closing the defence case, Samuel Stein QC told the jury his client was an “oddball” who “didn’t stop talking”.

He said: “He is an oddball. He is a man who is infuriating because he cannot and does not stop talking.

“It does not help to warm to Edward Tenniswood that he was older than India Chipchase. He was not as drunk as India Chipchase, who was obviously very drunk.

“Whichever way you look at this, he did take the life of a young woman.

“But why did he re-dress her? Why did he tidy up after her? These are the actions of an oddball who is probably unable to understand that she died while they had sex.”

The trial continues. The jury are expected to be sent out today (Tuesday).

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