Wednesday 21 August 2019

Man strangled and dismembered woman he met in pub just hours earlier, court told

The Skinny Dog Pub
The Skinny Dog Pub

A woman was strangled and then dismembered by a man she had met at a pub a few hours earlier, a court has been told.

Cardiff Crown Court heard Christopher Nigel May killed Tracey Woodford in what was a "sexually-motivated" attack.

Prosecutor Roger Thomas said May began flirting with an intoxicated Ms Woodford while at the Skinny Dog pub in Pontypridd.

After closing time, the pair were seen walking towards May's home in the Welsh town.

Mr Thomas said: "That was the last time that anyone saw her alive, apart from the defendant."

He added: "Tracey Elizabeth Woodford was strangled some time between April 21 and 22.

"The defendant admits his actions were responsible in causing her death but disputes his conduct amounts to murder.

"The prosecution says that this was a brutal, vicious and sexually-motivated murder. After her death she was mutilated and dismembered.

"These actions were carried out deliberately and methodically with the intention of concealing her body parts, and thereby evading detection."

The court heard that Ms Woodford was a "slim, petite" single woman who lived with her mother and brother in the village of Rhydyfelin.

"Apart from collecting money at the Post Office, going to the shops and visiting local pubs, she did not go out very much," added Mr Thomas.

On the afternoon of April 21, Ms Woodford went into town to buy a ring from pawn shop Cash Generators before deciding to go for a drink.

Jurors were told the deceased spent the afternoon drinking and was refused alcohol in a Wetherspoon pub and Alfred's Bar after appearing unsteady on her feet.

At about 7.45pm, Ms Woodford then headed to the Skinny Dog pub and struck up a conversation with May and two of his friends.

"There was flirting taking place between Tracey Woodford and Christopher May," added Mr Thomas.

"She was spoken to by someone and told 'if I buy you a few more drinks, would you come home with me tonight'."

The court was told Ms Woodford insisted she was "not that kind of girl", but the group continued joking around.

Jurors were also shown CCTV of Ms Woodford's movements throughout the town that day - including footage of her walking with May before midnight with her wearing the defendant's coat.

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