Anthony Russell has pleaded guilty to three murders including a mother and son in the West Midlands and a woman in Leamington a few days later – but denies one charge of rape
A man has denied raping a woman he admitted killing after she was found dead in woodland.
Anthony Russell has pleaded guilty to three murders – he killed a mother and son in the West Midlands and a woman in Leamington a few days later.
David and Julie Williams, from Coventry, were found dead within 24 hours of each other in Bell Green.
Russell had previously denied the murders of 58-year-old Julie and David, aged 32.
He had also denied killing 31-year-old Nicole McGregor, who was found in woodland near Leamington.
Russell, 39, went on trial at Warwick Crown Court on Monday, accused of raping Ms McGregor before killing her, just hours after she proudly showed him a picture of her baby scan.
He denies rape and the trial continues, Birmingham Live reports.
A search team found Ms McGregor’s body down a steep path, covered in scratches, “in dense underground”, likely after being dragged there in a bid to conceal the crime.
She died as a result of neck compression caused by ligature strangulation, with the postmortem discovering she had been carrying a “fully-formed female fetus.”
Zoe Johnson QC said: “The prosecution suggest the state of Nicole’s body gives the lie to the defendant’s claim that Nicole McGregor consented to sex.”
The 39 year old had admitted the manslaughter of all three but was due to go on trial yesterday at Warwick Crown Court accused of murder. I have changed his pleasures from him on Friday.
Russell killed Mr Williams, strangling him and leaving the body under his bed where it was only found by police five days later, covered in 87 injuries.
Mr Williams’ mother was found face down in her flat, having died from a bleed on the brain.
Zoe Johnson QC, opening the case, told jurors that between October 21 and his arrest on October 30, Russell had “embarked on a campaign of crime” then lied in “callous and calculating fashion” to cover up his offenses.
“He murdered three people, raped one of his victims before killing her, seriously attacked another, leaving him with life-changing injuries, and robbed another two people,” she added.
She said: “The defendant has pleaded guilty to the murders of David Williams, Julie Williams and Nicole McGregor, who was five months pregnant at the time.
“He has also pleaded guilty to attacking and robbing Roy Lavens and to robbing Brian Warr and Nicole Crisp.
“The defendant does not admit raping Nicole McGregor, just moments before he strangled her.”
Mr Williams was murdered on October 21 after going to Russell’s flat, where they were “probably taking drugs together”, Ms Johnson said.
Russell afterwards “confessed” to various people he had killed a man in the following days, alleging it was because he had believed the victim “had sex with his girlfriend”.
Julie Williams was murdered in her flat on the night of October 24/25, Coventry Live reports.
It is likely Russell “duped” his way into her home, by claiming to know something about the disappearance of her son, Ms Johnson said.
In between the killings, I have robbed Mr Warr of £30.
Fleeing Coventry, Russell then robbed 71-year-old Ms Crisp of £200 in nearby Kenilworth, Warwickshire, before arriving in Leamington Spa on October 26.
It was there Russell approached a couple, Christopher White and Nicole McGregor, who begged in Leamington.
The three made an agreement to buy drugs, later smoking them together.
It was subsequently revealed that Mr White had known Russell previously.
Ms Johnson said: “Nicole told the defendant she and Christopher were expecting a baby.
“She proudly showed the defendant a pregnancy scan that she had on her telephone.
“The defendant congratulated them both.”
Having left Mr White to go to their usual begging spots, CCTV later showed Russell “walking alongside” Ms McGregor.
Russell is said to have “lured” Ms McGregor to nearly Newbold Comyn park “not for sex, but more likely for drugs” before allegedly raping and then killing her.
Russell, having killed Ms McGregor, slept rough that night but then went and found Mr White the next morning and told him a series of “elaborate” lies about the woman’s whereabouts.
It was on October 28, when a friend showed Mr White an image of a man wanted for the Williams killings in Coventry, that he recognized it as Russell and “in shock” went to the police.
The trial continues.