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Lab worker ‘strangled co-worker, dumped her body & staged cunning cover-up’

A LAB worker strangled his colleague then slashed her throat before dumping her body in undergrowth on a country lane, a court heard.

Ross McCullum allegedly attacked Megan Newborough, 23, “with great violence” before embarking on a “calculated and carefully executed” cover-up.

Megan Newborough was strangled and dumped in undergrowth

Megan Newborough was strangled and dumped in undergrowthCredit: PA

The 30-year-old strangled HR Advisor Megan then told police he cut her throat to “make sure” she was dead, jurors heard.

Leicester Crown Court was told McCullum admits manslaughter but denies murder on the basis he had a “loss of control”.

Prosecutor John Cammegh KC said the pair met each other in June last year while working at Leicestershire-based brick company Ibstock.

They had exchanged flirtatious messages and were in a “relationship of sorts” for around a month before Megan was killed, jurors heard.

She was said to have “indulged the defendant with nothing but empathy, kindness and endless patience” during the fling.

On August 6 last year, Megan drove to McCullum’s parent’s home in Coalville, Leicestershire, where she was killed sometime between 8.15pm and 8.50pm.

Mr Cammegh said: “He would have shown her into the front room. And at some point within the next 30 to 40 minutes he attacked her with great violence.”

The court was told that after making an attempt to clean bloodstains from the carpet at his parents house, McCullum changed his clothes.

He then dragged Megan’s body to her white Citroen C3 and texted her saying “You are f***ing amazing” followed by a smiley face and three kisses, it was said.

Jurors were told he dumped the HR advisor’s body over a stone wall into a “tall, dense mass of bracken tangled with overgrown brambles”.

McCullum also allegedly “jettisoned” Megan’s iPhone into thick undergrowth and was captured on CCTV chucking blood-stained clothing into bins.

He then ditched Megan’s car, changed his clothes and got a taxi to take him near to his home to “presumably avoid prying eyes”, the court heard.

Jurors heard McCullum also texted and called Megan’s phone that night and the following morning to “further cover his tracks”.

Megan was reported missing on August 7 and McCullum was later arrested.

While being quizzed by police, her partially clothed body was discovered.

‘DISTORTED AND UNPLEASANT’

A post-mortem found she had 14 neck wounds in total, the court heard.

Officers recovered 3,500 WhatsApp messages between the pair that “quickly” changed from being “largely innocent to overwhelmingly sexual”, it was said.

Jurors were told how McCullum became “increasingly distorted and unpleasant” in the texts and spoke of sexual fetishes where he wanted Megan to call him “Lord Commander”.

Mr Cammegh said: “As I have mentioned to you, the defendant accepts he killed Megan but he denies murder.

“You may be wondering what his defence is. In essence he says that he was incapable, either through a temporary loss of control or an abnormality of the mind, to form the intent to kill her or to do her really serious harm.

“Given that defence you may wish to consider the relevance of the defendant’s behaviour from the moment when he strangled Megan, throughout the night that followed and into the next day.

“The Crown’s case is that the defendant embarked immediately upon a series of deliberate actions carefully calculated and carefully executed to cover up Megan’s murder and his role in it.

“The Crown say this behaviour conclusively exposes the fact that he was not momentarily struck by an irresistible wave of emotion or some other disability of the mind, committing a terrible act in difficult circumstances, but that he was a cunning and resourceful murderer.”

The trial continues.

McCullum denies murder but admits manslaughter

McCullum denies murder but admits manslaughter