Thursday 29 September 2016

'It didn't take you long to find me' - what murderer told police after raping and strangling young woman (20) before 'cuddling' up to her lifeless body

Richard Vernalls

Published 02/08/2016 | 13:09

Undated handout photo issued by Northamptonshire Police of India Chipchase, as Edward Tenniswood has been found guilty at Birmingham Crown Court of murdering 20-year-old Ms Chipchase, who he raped and strangled after finding her in a drunken state outside a Northampton nightclub
Undated handout photo issued by Northamptonshire Police of India Chipchase, as Edward Tenniswood has been found guilty at Birmingham Crown Court of murdering 20-year-old Ms Chipchase, who he raped and strangled after finding her in a drunken state outside a Northampton nightclub
Undated handout still from CCTV footage issued by Northamptonshire Police of Edward Tenniswood talking to India Chipchase outside NB's nightclub in Northampton, as Tenniswood has been found guilty at Birmingham Crown Court of murdering 20-year-old Ms Chipchase, who he raped and strangled after finding her in a drunken state outside a Northampton nightclub
Undated handout still from CCTV footage issued by Northamptonshire Police of Edward Tenniswood entering the Ibis hotel in Northampton, as he has been found guilty at Birmingham Crown Court of murdering 20-year-old India Chipchase, who he raped and strangled after finding her in a drunken state outside a Northampton nightclub
Undated handout photo issued by Northamptonshire Police of a police cordon in place at 6 Stanley Road, Northampton, the home of Edward Tenniswood, who has been found guilty at Birmingham Crown Court of murdering 20-year-old India Chipchase
File photo dated 02/02/16 of floral tributes bouquets left in memory of India Chipchase at The Collingtree pub where she worked in Northampton, as Edward Tenniswood has been found guilty at Birmingham Crown Court of murdering 20-year-old Ms Chipchase
File photo dated 02/02/16 of Police activity at Edward Tenniswood's home in Stanley Road, Northampton, as Edward Tenniswood has been found guilty at Birmingham Crown Court of murdering 20-year-old India Chipchase
Undated handout still from CCTV footage issued by Northamptonshire Police of a taxi containing Edward Tenniswood and India Chipchase leaving Bridge Street in Northampton, as Tenniswood has been found guilty at Birmingham Crown Court of murdering 20-year-old Ms Chipchase, who he raped and strangled after finding her in a drunken state outside a Northampton nightclub
Undated handout still from CCTV footage issued by Northamptonshire Police of India Chipchase on her phone outside NB's nightclub in Northampton, as Edward Tenniswood has been found guilty at Birmingham Crown Court of murdering 20-year-old Ms Chipchase, who he raped and strangled after finding her in a drunken state outside a Northampton nightclub
India Chipchase
Edward Tenniswood (52) who has been found guilty at Birmingham Crown Court of murdering 20-year-old India Chipchase
Undated video grab issued by Northamptonshire Police of Jeremy Chipchase's video victim impact statement, as Edward Tenniswood, 52, has been found guilty at Birmingham Crown Court of murdering Jeremy's 20-year-old daughter India Chipchase

A former bookkeeper has been found guilty of murdering 20-year-old India Chipchase, who he raped and strangled after finding her in a drunken state outside a nightclub.

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Fantasist and loner Edward Tenniswood claimed he had consensual sex with Ms Chipchase, who was less than half his age, and that her death in his squalid Northampton home in the early hours of January 30 was a result of his "over-eagerness" in bed.

He was jailed at Birmingham Crown Court for life with a minimum term of 30 years for the murder and rape.

He had promised to "get her home safe" after finding her outside the club. But instead he attacked her, leaving her with more than 30 injuries.

Edward Tenniswood (52) who has been found guilty at Birmingham Crown Court of murdering 20-year-old India Chipchase
Edward Tenniswood (52) who has been found guilty at Birmingham Crown Court of murdering 20-year-old India Chipchase

After killing her, 52-year-old Tenniswood told a jury he "cuddled up" to her lifeless body and then sat and drank in a hotel bar for 22 hours until the police came to arrest him.

A Birmingham Crown Court jury took just one hour and 45 minutes to convict Tenniswood, of Stanley Road, Northampton, of rape and murder after a two-week trial.

India Chipchase
India Chipchase

As the verdicts were delivered, Tenniswood looked down and raised his eyebrows, and then dropped his face into his hands.

Mr Justice John Saunders told him he would be jailed later on Tuesday, when he will the face the mandatory life sentence with a minimum term of imprisonment.

In a statement read to court, the victim's mother Susan Chipchase said her daughter "lit up a room" and had ideas of becoming a life-saving paramedic.

She said her daughter's death at Tenniswood's hands had robbed her family of a "vibrant" young woman of great potential.

"Her death has left a huge void in all our lives and her siblings are quiet and subdued without her."

Mrs Chipchase added: "The actions of this man means we have been condemned to a life spent grieving for a child whose potential we shall never see."

Her father Jeremy Chipchase said: "I sincerely hope there's no possibility that another woman ever falls into the hands of my daughter's murderer."

He said no other father should ever have to hear the news that their daughter had been found dead, or see the faces of his daughter's two sisters and brother as they were told.

His voice cracked with emotion as he said: "No other father will have to see their daughter's body in the mortuary and be told they are unable to touch or kiss her one last time.

He added: "No other father will have to touch the coffin and say 'love you, Ind' and see the curtain close in the crematorium.

"No other father will be hit with a wave of emotion at a wedding, as I was, realising I would never walk India down the aisle."

He said: "Therefore I reiterate I do not want there to be other victims at the hands of India's murderer.

"No other family should experience what we have.

"I hope the sentencing reflects that."

Tenniswood had forced family and friends of his victim to listen in court to his claims that she had gone willingly to his home and had had consensual sex with him.

But as Ms Chipchase was led from the nightclub the worse for wear earlier that night, bouncer David Burry recalled her repeatedly telling him: "I just want to go home."

The bouncer took her to a taxi cab but, according to the driver, she "threw a wobbly" when asked to pay the fare in advance and got out to lean against the nightclub's wall.

It was then that Tenniswood pounced, with CCTV showing him craning his head over Ms Chipchase and putting his arm around her in what he described as a "paternal way".

A witness overheard him say: "'We'll make sure we get you home in a taxi safely'."

At his home, where almost every inch of the grim floors was covered with newspaper, he raped his victim with her clothes on and then "squeezed the life" out of her, the prosecution said.

In his account, Tenniswood said the "kinky" idea to strangle Ms Chipchase had been at her direction and her death was an accident.

He claimed: "I, in my over-eagerness to please her, either sustained the pressure just too long or just gripped too tightly."

However, there were signs of a struggle and Tenniswood's blood was found under his victim's fingernail while scratches were found on his neck and arm.

Tenniswood later described "cuddling up" to Ms Chipchase as she lay dead on the mattress claiming he just thought his victim was in a deep sleep or a coma.

But instead of raising the alarm, he went to get a kebab and then to a nearby hotel where he drank lager and even accessed a news website showing the widening missing person search for his victim.

He was still in the hotel lobby when police officers arrested him on suspicion of murder, having traced the signal from his victim's phone to his terraced house on Stanley Road.

Tenniswood told police: "You know who I am - Edward.

He added: "I'm surprised you were so quick, it didn't take you long to find me."

Then he said: "I suppose you've been to the house - you've found what you're looking for."

Inside the rucksack he was carrying during his arrest was a kitchen knife and a pair of latex gloves.

He told the court he used a pair of those gloves to re-clothe and pull a sheet over his victim's body so she would not be cold.

Tenniswood told the jury: "It's a traumatic experience when dressing a body."

Christopher Donnellan, for the Crown, told the jury: "What does that comment tell you about him?

"He's only full of his own self-pity, entirely self-centred."

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