A 20-year-old woman from Northampton was allegedly “raped and throttled” by a man who said “he would get her home safe” after seeing her in a drunken state outside a town centre nightclub, a jury has heard.
Edward Tenniswood, aged 52, of Stanley Road, Northampton, is currently on trial for the rape and murder or India Chipchase, whose body was found on January 31 this year.
Birmingham Crown Court heard India was last seen alive at 1.30am the night before, shortly after she had been approached by Tenniswood outside NB’s nightclub in Northampton.
Christopher Donnellan QC, prosecuting, said: “At 3.45pm on the afternoon of January 31 this year, the body of India Chipchase was found laid out on a mattress covered in a duvet cover-type sheet in a bedroom in Stanley Road, Northampton.
“She was aged just 20.
“She had last been seen alive 1.30am on the night before, shortly after she had been approached by the defendant as she stood outside NB’s nightclub in Northampton.
“She was led by him - or steered or escorted by him - to a taxi, which took her not to her home but to an area [near Stanley Road].”
Mr Donnellan said it was the prosecution’s case that at the house in Stanley Road she was “raped and throttled” by the defendant and she died not long after.
He said: “The cause of her death: pressure on the neck.
“Her death was no dreadful accident because obviously had it been, the defendant would have called for an ambulance or started CPR or called for help.
“What he did was to remove her belongings and place them around the house.
“There were lots of other items in the house including women’s clothes and shoes distributed around the house.
“He had put on a pair of clear plastic vinyl gloves, they were later found in a bag of rubbish with India’s blood on the outside of the gloves.
“Why did he kill her? He alone knows what his motive was.
“It’s very likely that his motive was sexual, that when she resisted him he gripped her around the throat and squeezed until she could resist him no more.”
Mr Donnellan said India also had an injury on the top of her ear and had suffered “blunt force trauma” to her head and face.
He said: “She appears to have put up a struggle because blood was found under one of her fingernails.”
Mr Donnellan said it is the prosecution’s case that this blood matches Tenniswood’s DNA.
The court heard that Tenniswood was arrested at the Ibis hotel in Marefair, Northampton, at 6.40pm on Sunday, February 1. Mr Donnellan said he arrived there at 9.30am the day before.
The jury were told India had been out with friends, who were not her closest, but she “knew them well enough”.
Mr Donnellan said India became “very drunk” and was separated from her friends.
He said: “Her friends, too, were quite drunk and they did not think straight for themselves. Their recollections are affected by their own drunkenness.
“She ends up outside the club. A member of door staff tried to assist her and even put her in a taxi.
“But, after a conversation with the taxi driver, she got out.
“She then stands outside NBs and appears to use her phone. She ended up leaving messages rather than getting through to speak to anyone.”
The court heard Tenniswood then approached India outside the club after he appeared to be refused entry to the club.
Mr Donnellan said: “He saw India and went up to her outside like he knew her. He did not know her.
“Witnesses heard him say to her ‘not too worry, I will get you home safe’. He did not.”
Tenniswood denies charges of rape and murder. The trial continues.