India Chipchase: Accused describes events on the night she died

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The Northampton man who allegedly murdered India Chipchase has said that she agreed to come back to his home, a court heard.

Edward Tenniswood, aged 52, of Stanley Road, Northampton, who is charged with the rape and murder of Miss Chipchase, aged 20, gave evidence to a jury on the sixth day of his trial.

Birmingham Crown Court heard Tenniswood had gone out on the evening of Friday, January 29, with the intention of going to O’Neills in the Drapery and having a meal.

Tenniswood told the jury that he was disappointed that the kitchen was closed.

He said: “That is when the evening began to fall apart. I got there expecting to have two bottles of wine and a meal but the kitchen was closed, unfortunately.”

The court heard Tenniswood then went to the Moon on the Square pub but was unable to get any food there as the kitchen had also closed.

He said: “This was the second disappointment of the evening.

“Clearly I was not going to get any pub food tonight. But I had learned to sublimate food by drinking and smoking instead.”

The court heard Tenniswood began talking to a group of three men and women who he had never met before.

Tenniswood said he only drank two pints of cider and then moved off with the group after the pub closed.

He said they all went to the Boston Clipper but decided not to go in as they did not want to pay the entrance fee.

The jury were told he then went to Bridge Street with one of the group, Russell Minns, who Tenniswood said was being “very irritating”.

Tenniswood said he first came into contact with Miss Chipchase when she was standing in the queue.

He said he then began speaking to her after he was refused entry to NB’s.

Tenniswood said: “I think she said ‘you’ve been refused too’

“She appeared to be [looking] very intently on her phone. She seemed anxious, it was making her unhappy. I saw her wipe away a tear at one point.”

Tenniswood said he asked Miss Chipchase where he could get a drink in the area but he said “they both concluded” there was nowhere open that would not charge an entry fee.

He said he put his arm round Miss Chipchase after she had a “tearful burst”.

Tenniswood said: “I felt sorry for her. I’m a tactile person. I put arm half round her in a paternal way.

“I said ‘I’m sure it will be okay, everything will work out”.

“I probably said you will get home. It was a general attempt to calm her down.”

Tenniswood said after talking to Miss Chipchase for “15 minutes” he made an “off the cuff” comment that he was going to get a cab back to his home and told India she could come if she wanted to.

He told the jury that Miss Chipchase said ‘yes’.

Tenniswood said: “She looked up. There was a half-smile, her whole demeanour changed from somebody who had been crying.”

The jury were told by Tenniswood that they both decided to get a taxi and go to McDonalds in Sixfields, but then changed their mind during the journey.

He said he bought some cigarettes and a lottery ticket when the taxi stopped at the BP garage in Westbridge.

After the taxi had dropped them off near his home and they had had walked to his front door, Tenniswood said he was “chivalrous” by opening the front door and letting Miss Chipchase go in first.

He said: “I said, ‘Are you ok?’. She said, ‘Yes, can I use the loo?’.

“A little quirk of mine is that I like to put on the cold tap to mask the sound of people urinating. It is slightly embarrassing if you can hear someone weeing in the next room.”

Tenniswood said he then filled two glasses of red wine and said Miss Chipchase’s demeanour was “improving by the minute”.

He said: “She seemed more alert, more normal. She wasn’t crying and upset like she had been before.”

Tenniswood said he then went to the toilet and when he came back Miss Chipchase had taken a “backward step” in her demeanour.

He said: “She seemed serious, unhappy. It seemed like something to do with the phone.

“She lightly tossed the phone on the floor and motioned towards it as if she was going to kick the phone.

“That was pretty alarming. My initial response was to rescue the phone.

“I am an Apple technology geek. The idea of somebody smashing a phone is something to be avoided so I picked it up and held it aloft.”

Tenniswood said he “held the phone to the heavens” and said “we are sorry Steve jobs”.

He said: “We laughed. She laughed, she looked up and she said, ‘Yes we are really sorry Steve.’”

The jury was told by Tenniswood that Miss Chipchase then “calmed down” and “lost interest” in the phone.

Tenniswood denies raping an murdering Miss Chipchase. The trial continues.

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