The unemployed Northampton man accused of murdering India Chipchase has told a jury he did not call an ambulance to his house after he could not rouse her due to “sheer panic” and “bad decision making”,
On the seventh day of his trial Edward Tenniswood, aged 52, explained his actions on Saturday, January 30, the day it is alleged Miss Chipchase was raped and murdered.
Birmingham Crown Court heard that Tenniswood became concerned after he was unable to wake Miss Chipchase, who he said had been sleeping on a mattress in an upstairs bedroom of his house.
Tenniswood said he decided to go out for a something to eat and went out to buy a kebab from a shop in the town centre. He said his plan was to come back to his house in “20 minutes”
He said he “characteristically” stopped at the Ibis hotel for a drink and then ended up staying due to “panic”.
Tenniswood said: “It was sheer panic. It was a glorious evening that suddenly turned into this awful situation.
“It was just utter panic and confusion.”
Tenniswood said it was “totally stupid” and maybe due to anxiety that he thought he would “have a drink and come up with the answer about what to do.”
The court heard Tenniswood then spent the majority of the next 22 hours in the Ibis until he was arrested at 6.45pm on Sunday, January 31.
The jury heard that Tenniswood used a computer in the hotel lobby to look at the BBC Northampton website “out of habit” and then clicked on a local newspaper link to the search for India Chipchase.
Tenniswood said he did leave the Ibis at one point to go to the BP garage and bought some cigarettes. He said he did then walk to the end of Stanley Road but then “bottled it” and did not walk back to the house.
Tenniswood said he was “hoping against hope” that Miss Chipchase would be found but said he did not phone for the emergency services to be sent to his house.
Under cross-examination by Chistopher Donnellan, Tenniswood explained that his actions after he left Stanley Road were “poor judgement”.
He said: “I was hoping against hope that she was not dead. It was poor judgement, not being able to deal with what had happened. Something that had never happened in my life before.
“I just could not understand how someone wouldn’t come round.”.
Mr Donnellan said Tenniswood was a “fantasist who was putting the facts in an order to suit him” and said he “could not face the truth.”
Tenniswood said his mind had been “in a state of utter mental flux.”
When asked why he did not call an ambulance, he said it was “bad decision-making on a monumental scale.”
After Mr Donnellan asked Tenniswood about his first meeting with Miss Chipchase outside NB’s, the defendant said they “clicked like old friends.”
He said: “We both said how it was spooky how we just clicked together.”
Tenniswood admitted that he knew the duffel coat he was wearing was not suitable clothing to be let into NB’s but said he tried because he was the “world’s greatest optimist.”
He said he had last been into NB’s 10 years ago but was then shown footage that the prosecution alleges was him trying to get into the club at 2.51am two weeks earlier.
Tenniswood denied he was the man in the footage and offered to bet the prosecutor £100 that it was not him.
Tenniswood denies rape and murder. The trial continues.