Gosport murder trial: Brendan Rowan-Davies tells jurors he was 'petrified' after being threatened when he found Kelly-Anne Case dead
A MAN accused of murdering a ‘tortured’ mum-of-three has told jurors that he found her dead after returning to her home to retrieve his tobacco – but was threatened by someone with a knife held to his throat.
Brendan Rowan-Davies, 29, is on trial at Winchester Crown Court accused of murdering mum-of-three Kelly-Anne Case and then setting a fire at her home in Grange Crescent, Gosport, on July 30.
He is accused of repeatedly slitting her throat in a sexually-motivated killing and then setting fire to her home. Firefighters found her bound on the edge of her bed at around 8.15am.
Giving evidence at his Winchester Crown Court murder trial, he said he had been at Ms Case’s home with his friend Will Vallender, where they all took cocaine and drank vodka and energy drinks, before he later returned alone to retrieve his tobacco.
He told jurors when he returned he knocked on the front door, then went in via an open back door and called out for Ms Case. He said he then went upstairs and saw Ms Case on her bed, on her back and her wrists were not bound with cable ties.
Rowan-Davies told jurors there was a ‘knife to my throat’ and an unnamed person said: ‘I will kill you, your family and anyone you tell.’
The defendant said he left, picking up his tobacco from the front room but did not tell anyone as he was ‘scared for my life’. There was no fire when he left, he said.
He said he was ‘petrified’ and had blood on his clothes so decided to ‘burn them so people didn’t think it was me’. He returned to his mother’s home in Gosport but did not tell her as he was ‘petrified,’ he said.
Rowan-Davies said he then set fire to clothes in a nearby alley using a lighter from his mother’s home in Chilworth Grove.
Asked by his barrister Kate Lumsdon QC about when he, Ms Case and Mr Vallender were together earlier, Rowan-Davies said she was ‘a little bit upset’ as she did not have her children.
The defendant said: ‘She pulled out a knife. She said that she was going to kill herself because she never had her kids.’
He said he took the knife from her, put it on the kitchen side or sink, and hugged her after he said: ‘Don’t think like that, kids now you love them and you will get them back one day.’
During the evening Rowan-Davies said he told Ms Case he has always fancied her but said it was a ‘joke’ he said ‘every time I’ve seen her’. He added: ‘I joke, I always used to joke.’
Rowan-Davies said Ms Case and his friend later went upstairs and so did he, with the defendant falling asleep on her bed. He said he was asked to move into a spare room as the pair wanted to have sex.
The defendant said he filmed Mr Vallender and Ms Case by putting his arm round the door. ‘Did you film it on your phone?’ He was asked. He replied: ‘Yes.’
But he said he later looked at it and the footage did not show anything, and he then deleted it from his phone.
Rowan-Davies said he went to Mr Vallender’s home in Salt Meat Lane before going to his home in Trinity Close, leaving at 7.23am. He said he changed his clothes as he was ‘cold’ and had gone out to buy a can of beer from a shop at the former King’s Head pub.
It was when getting a bus to the shop, he said, he decided to get off the bus in Cambridge Road to get his tobacco that he said was left at Ms Case’s home.
In an initial exchange, the defendant denied murder and setting the fire.
Ms Lumsdon said: ‘Did you kill Kelly Case?’
Rowan-Davies said: ‘No.’
Ms Lumsdon said: ‘Did you set fire to her house?’
Rowan-Davies said: ‘No.’
The defendant’s barrister asked him about cable ties found at his home and said: ‘What did you use cable ties for?’
Rowan-Davies said: ‘I wanted to make a light out of a JD bottle.’
He was asked: ‘Is that something you managed to do?’
Rowan-Davies said: ‘Failed every time I tried.’
Prosecutor William Mousley QC previously told jurors injuries Ms Case suffered ‘strongly suggested she was tortured before her death and further injuries were inflicted afterwards’.
Jurors have been told Rowan-Davies, 29, of Trinity Close, Gosport, has a low IQ, a learning disability and is dyslexic and will have frequent breaks in his evidence.
Rowan-Davies, 29, of Trinity Close, Gosport, denies murder and arson.