A male couple have been found guilty of murdering and dismembering a lesbian in their flat filled with horror merchandise.
Boyfriends Nathan Maynard-Ellis and David Leesley, 30 and 25, have been convicted of the 2019 killing of Julia Rawson in Dudley, West Midlands.
The two men, who had already admitted perverting the course of justice and concealing a body, were found guilty of murder in a trial at Coventry Crown Court on Monday (November 9).
Couple lured woman to their flat, murdered and dismembered her
Rawson, 42, met Maynard-Ellis at a pub in May 2019, and was captured on CCTV entering a taxi with him, never to be seen again.
After her disappearance was linked to Maynard-Ellis, detectives visited the flat he shared with Leesley, discovering blood matching Rawson’s DNA under a newly-purchased carpet.
An extensive search later uncovered dismembered human body parts in plastic bags that had been disposed of near a canal and in a wasteland area.
Prosecutors told the court that Maynard-Ellis had a fascination with murder and was addicted to fantasies about the “sexualised killing of women.”
The pair’s flat “was the making of horror stories”, the BBC reports, filled with swords, spiders, Freddy Krueger figures and Chucky dolls.
Prosecutor Karim Khalil QC told the court that Maynard-Ellis had gone out with the aim of finding a victim.
Rawson identified as a lesbian, the court heard, but a former partner said she was sometimes “flirtatious” with men while drunk.
After reaching their flat, the is thought to have been struck on the head before being dismembered by the couple.
In addition to the murder charge, Maynard-Ellis was also found guilty of rape, and threats to kill, in relation to another woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons.
Actions of murderers ‘despicable and incomprehensible’
Detective Inspector Jim Colclough of West Midlands Police said in a release: “This is simply a tragic case. The actions of Maynard-Ellis and Leesley are incomprehensible. Julia did nothing wrong that evening. The way in which she was murdered and treated in death are despicable.
“Julia’s family, friends and the wider community in which this horrific killing has occurred are left devastated by the cruel actions of the pair.
“Fortunately depraved crimes like this are rare, but their actions were sickening and it’s been a complex and emotionally difficult case for us as officers to investigate.
“However we were determined to seek justice for Julia and I hope their guilty verdicts provide some solace for her loved ones. My thoughts remain with them at this difficult time.”
In a statement, Rawson’s family said: “Her death has had a devastating impact on us, the mutilation of her body and the callous way in which her remains were scattered has revolted us. We can only pray Julia knew nothing about these abhorrent acts.
“We are a close and loving family, clinging to each other in an attempt to support each other through this harrowing ordeal, but shall remain deeply affected and troubled by these events for the rest of our lives because Julia’s loss is felt as keenly today as when we heard she had first gone missing.”