INDIA CHIPCHASE TRIAL: Accused asked police ‘have you found what you were looking for in my house?’ when arrested, court told

India Chipchase

India Chipchase

A Northampton man accused of murdering India Chipchase asked the police officers who arrested him if they had “found what they were looking for in his house”, a court heard.

Edward Tenniswood, aged 52, of Stanley Road, Northampton, is currently on trial charged with the rape and murder of Ms Chipchase, aged 20, whose body was found at his home address on January 31 this year.

Birmingham Crown Court heard on Tuesday, Tenniswood’s home was described as in a “pretty grim” state.

Christopher Donnellan, prosecuting, said: “Newspapers were spread all over the floor. Items were covered with cloths.

“There were no chairs set up for people to sit down and socialise. Everything was covered and pushed away.

“Bowls and plates in the kitchen were covered over. There were a monitor and a keyboard but no computer.”

The jury was told that Tenniswood went to the Ibis hotel in Northampton later the same day he is alleged to have murdered Ms Chipchase.

Mr Donnellan showed the jury CCTV footage which showed Tenniswood in the lounge area of the Ibis using a computer.

The court heard he stayed there from 9pm until after 3am the next day and accessed news websites about the search for India.

Mr Donnellan said police officers came into the hotel, on a totally unrelated matter, but he “did not make himself known to them”.

He said: “The prosecution suggest the defendant already knew a high profile search was going on.”

The court heard Tenniswood went back to the Ibis shortly after 6pm the next day and, on this occasion, he was recognised and arrested.

Mr Donnellan said: “After he was arrested, the defendant said ‘you know who I am, I am Edward. I’m surprised you were so quick. It did not take you long to find me’.

“He continued to be talkative and asked about the procedures for his arrest and how many police officers had been looking for him.

“He told officers he had spent the day getting his notes up to date. He said ‘I suppose you have been to the house and found what you are looking for’.”

The court heard Tenniswood was carrying a rucksack that contained paperwork, a kitchen knife, some gloves and a key for his house in Stanley Road.

When he was interviewed, Tenniswood made no comment to all questions, apart from saying he knew where Bridge Street was. He also interrupted the interview to ask if he could have a cup of coffee.

The jury was told the defendant denied the rape and murder of Ms Chipchase because he says she consented to sexual intercourse, and he did not deliberately kill her but did it by accident.

Mr Donnellan said: “The prosecution say she was very drunk, vulnerable and wanted to get home. She was in no fit state to make a decision about anything; she was incapable of consenting.

“There can be no doubt the defendant did grip her firmly round neck. The fact she had mixture of his DNA and hers under a fingernail on her right hand matching a mark on the left side of his neck indicates they were facing each other

“It strongly points to her fighting for her life - far from consenting sex.

“The people who saw him in the Moon on the Square don’t suggest he was drunk. He knew clearly what he was doing that night.

“In the conversation, he was heard to be having with India on Bridge Street, he was reassuring her she was safe he would see her safely home.

“Witnesses who saw India had no doubt she was drunk and incapable. He must not reasonably have thought she was consenting while in that state.”

Tenniswood denies charges of rape and murder. The trial continues.

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