The man accused of murdering India Chipchase has told a jury she “initiated” the pressure he put on her neck as they were having sex.
On the seventh day of his trial Edward Tenniswood, aged 52, continued giving his account of what happened the night Miss Chipchase is alleged to have been raped and murdered.
Birmingham Crown Court heard that Tenniswood invited Miss Chipchase into his house in Stanley Road after he met her outside NB’s in Bridge Street in the early hours of Saturday, January 30.
Giving evidence today (Wednesday) Tenniswood described an incident in his house in which Miss Chipchase fell over after attempting to sit on a sofa covered by a dust sheet.
He said: “I made a desperate attempt to arrest her fall but, to my shame, she slipped through my hands.
“She tried to grab my arm and her right hand was on my neck.
“I said, ‘Are you OK?’ and she said, ‘Really sorry’. She thought it was her fault.”
Tenniswood said the pair then “hugged” and they both apologised to each repeatedly and it got “silly.”
He told the jury that Miss Chipchase then “planted a kiss on his lips”.
He said: “I was so taken aback. It was so unexpected. I was surprised. It was a full-on French kiss.”
Tenniswood said Miss Chipchase then touched a mark on his neck and he “flinched”.
Tenniswood said he had a scratch on his neck and Miss Chipchase asked “if she did that”.
He told the jury they both went upstairs after Tenniswood said he had promised the “grand tour” of the house.
He said India went in to the kitchen and got two glasses of red wine and then followed him upstairs.
Tenniswood said they then both went into another bedroom of the house and Miss Chipchase became ‘fixated” on the mirror.
He said: “India said ‘wow, I love that mirror.”
After they sat down on the floor of the room, Tenniswood said India made an “incredibly moving” comment to him.
He said: “It was such a sweet India thing to do. Our reflection in the mirror was framed and she said ‘oh look. It looks like we are in the middle of an oil painting.
“She put her arms around me and squeezed me like we were posing for a selfie.
“I waved and she waved. In retrospect it was an incredibly moving thing.”
Tenniswood said he then kissed India and “she reciprocated” and it developed into a “proper” kiss.
He told the jury that the pair then had sex and that Miss Chipchase took off all her clothes herself.
During sex, Teniswood said Miss Chipchase “moved his hands onto her neck”.
He said: “It was very organic thing, as I’m kissing her she puts her hands on my hands and moves them down [to her neck]. She put pressure on my hands.
“I got the hint that it was clear, when she pushed on to my hands, [that] I was to continue pushing. The pressure on my hands stopped as my pressure continued.
“She was initiating, effectively getting me to start the pressure.
“She released the pressure, but both of her hands stayed on my hands.”
Tenniswood said he had been talking to Miss Chipchase about how they had “clicked” during the night and they had “made plans” to meet up for lunch at O’Neills pub in The Drapery the next day.
He said: “India said to me she had not felt this happy for ages. In retrospect that is just awful.”
Tenniswood said he had sex with Miss Chipchase twice and, during the second time, he applied pressure on her neck “without her guidance” for between five and 10 seconds.
The jury was told by Tenniswood that he was “fatigued” so he “passed out” and did not wake up until the evening.
He said: “I was surprised I had slept all day. I was surprised we’d slept that long.
“I assumed she was in a deep sleep.”
Tenniswood said he had a cigarette and a drink of wine and then became aware something was “wrong” with Miss Chipchase as “she wasn’t snoring.”
He said: “It did not seem right, something was wrong. I said, ‘India darling? You OK, darling?’. I nudged her shoulder.”
The court heard he then got dressed and decided to look in her bag for any medication as he believed she may be diabetic and in a “diabetic coma”.
Tenniswood said “panic set in” and he went into his “default mode” by getting “everything in order” in the bag and placed her boots neatly in a bedroom.
He said he did not check for a pulse as he “did not know how to” but was “completely convinced she was still alive”.
Tenniswood said he re-clothed Miss Chipchase and put some fresh sheets on the bed.
He said he removed a pillow that had blood on it and placed it in a bin as it was “long overdue” to be thrown out.
The court heard he then decided to go out as he “needed some fuel for his brain and breath some proper air”.
Tenniswood denies charges of rape and murder. The trial continues.