Jury shown video of accused changing clothes after killing Megan Newborough

A jury trying a lab worker accused of murdering a colleague has been shown CCTV footage of him changing his trousers and top and dumping items into a bin beside his victim’s car.

Ross McCullum, 30, has admitted the manslaughter of 23-year-old Megan Newborough but denies murdering her in the living room of his parents’ house in Leicestershire.

Prosecutors allege McCullum, of Windsor Close, Coalville, strangled human resources specialist Miss Newborough within 40 minutes of her arrival at his home, cut her throat, and then used her Citroen C3 to dump her body in a country lane.

The court has been told McCullum and Miss Newborough, from Nuneaton, Warwickshire, had been in a “relationship of sorts” for a matter of weeks after meeting through their work with brick-making firm Ibstock.

During the second day of the Crown’s opening speech, prosecutor John Cammegh KC told jurors a doorbell camera had filmed Miss Newborough leaving her home at 7.32pm on Friday August 6 last year.

Leicester Crown Court also heard a phone message indicated she had arrived at McCullum’s cul-de-sac at 8.08pm.

After the doorbell footage was shown to the jury, Mr Cammegh said: “The Crown’s case is that by 8.49pm Megan was dead. At some time between 20.08 and 20.49 the defendant strangled her in the front room.

“The defence, as I indicated yesterday, may deploy evidence that his mindset was such that he was incapable of forming the necessary criminal intent to murder Megan Newborough.

“But the Crown’s case is that by following the evidential trail you will conclude that, from the moment that he attacked Megan, the calculated decisions that the defendant methodically executed will expose that defence as a cynical lie, manufactured to save himself by distracting you from the truth.”

At 8.49pm, the court heard, McCullum sent a text to his parents – four minutes before he sent a message to Megan’s phone to make it appear that she had left his home “alive and well”.

The Crown allege that McCullum “dragged or carried” Megan’s body into the front passenger seat of her car and threw her phone into undergrowth shortly after 9pm.

McCullum is then alleged to have disposed of Megan’s body before he “resurfaced” when the Citroen was caught on camera at 9.47pm, three minutes before he parked up at the Loughborough College campus.

Describing an eight-minute section of CCTV from the college which was shown to the jury on Wednesday, Mr Cammegh said: “At 21.52, the defendant emerges from the Citroen and reaches back into the front.

“He then moves to the rear door, removes an item or items and places them on the ground. At 21.53 he removes his top and replaces it with the one that he has brought with him specifically for the purpose of changing clothes – for the cover-up.”

The prosecutor told the jury: “You might think this indicates not only that the defendant was in full control of what he was doing at this point, cleaning up, getting rid of the evidence.

“It is also, we say, clear evidence of his calculated planning from the very start.”

The Crown’s opening speech continues on Thursday.