India Chipchase: Accused says he lived in ‘almost squalid’ house and collected pictures of ex-girlfriends

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The man accused of raping and murdering India Chipchase has said he lived in a “almost squalid” house and drank up to three bottles of red wine a day.

On the sixth day of his trial, Edward Tenniswood, aged 52, of Stanley Road, Northampton, took to the witness stand to put forward his defence after being charged with the rape and murder of Miss Chipchase, aged 20.

After being asked questions by defence barrister Derek Johashan about the state of his house, which he had rented, Tenniswood said “it was almost squalid” and “very rundown”.

He said: “The landlord was completely stripping out the place with a view to renting it out or selling it. In the interim he allowed me to stay in there. I had a month’s notice.

“It had no carpets and no handrail on the stairs.

“I put newspapers down on the floor as a way of soaking up wet feet. It then escalated and two pages became four and it effectively grew to become a temporary carpet.”

Tenniswood said he used crates to store some of his belongings because he is in a “permanent state of having a month’s notice” so wanted to be ready to move. He said he was a “terrible hoarder”.

The court heard he also used sheets to cover his furniture “to keep dust off and make it orderly.”

Tenniswood told the jury he drank alcohol, mainly red wine, in “vast quantities.”

He said: “I drink at least two bottles a red wine a day, bordering on three.”

Tenniswood also talked about what he said was his “affliction of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)”

He said: “I have to keep washing my hands. I got to the point where I was washing my hands so much they were red raw. I started buying boxes of latex gloves from Poundstretcher in town, £3.99 for 100.

“Rather than have things in a chaotic way I like to line them up.”

Tenniswood said he also hoarded images from magazines and newspapers and kept pictures that “reminded him of ex-girlfriends.”

The court heard that he lived in a “small area” of his house that made it “easier to keep clean” but said his bathroom was “shamefully dirty and abandoned”.

He said he placed cling film on his keyboard and mouse as it seemed “illogical” trying to clean it all the time.

When asked by Mr Johashan about an incident his neighbour Douglas Killeya described to the jury, Tenniswood admitted he had lied about being in the army.

Tenniswood said he had gone round to his neighbour’s house as he was upset because he had just found out his father’s health had deteriorated.

He said: “I was hoping he would invite me in for a cup of tea. I thought he might have time to have a chat with me.”

Tenniswood said he had been drinking heavily that morning and admitted he had “cupped” Mr Killeya’s face due to his high emotional state.

He said:“I almost saw him as my father. I cuddled him at one point, as I do with people I feel emotionally close to.”

He said “to his shame” he did put his hands on Mr Killeya’s neck.

He said: “I was so desperate, I did not want to go that afternoon to the pub and see the same drunk people who I did not have much in common with.”

Tenniswood said he had a friend who had suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and he believed he was suffering from the same symptoms.

He said: “I told him {Mr Killeya} I had PTSD and to ram home the point I told him I’d been trained to shoot, jump out of planes and trained to kill with my bare hands.

“I did not apply any pressure but put my hands on his neck as an illustration of my pathetic point.”

Tenniswood admitted he had not been in the army. He said he had been in the cadet force at school and was aware of military procedures.

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

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