Gosport murder trial: Court told Kelly-Anne Case was tortured and had her throat slit by an intruder who then set fire to her house

A YOUNG mum was tortured and her throat repeatedly slit by an intruder who then set fire to her home in a bid to mask the sexually-motivated killing, a court heard.

Wednesday, 15th January 2020, 10:39 am
Updated Wednesday, 15th January 2020, 4:48 pm

Firefighters discovered Kelly-Anne Case, 27, naked face down on the edge of her bed with her wrists bound together by cable ties at her home in Grange Crescent, Gosport on July 30 last year.

Brendan Rowan-Davies, 29, of Trinity Close, Gosport, is on trial at Winchester Crown Court accused of the killing of Ms Case who was ‘alone and vulnerable’ when she was found between 8.15am and 8.30am.

Prosecutor William Mousley QC said the defendant denied the killing and added: ‘In fact, members of the jury, Brendan Rowan-Davies was the intruder who went in intent, at the very least, to use serious violence on Kelly-Anne, arming himself with a knife and probably for some sort of sexual pleasure.

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Floral tributes after the fire Picture: Chris Moorhouse (310719-91)

‘Notably, he then committed arson in the hope that he may then get away with his crime. But thanks to the observations and quick thinking of neighbours and passers-by the rapid actions and professionalism of the firefighters, the hard work of the police, and a little bit of luck, that wish did not come true.’

Ms Case suffered injuries that ‘strongly suggested she was tortured before her death and further injuries were inflicted afterwards,’ the prosecutor said.

A post mortem found the mum-of-three’s throat had been cut ‘several times’, severing the jugular vein, and some of the carotid artery, Mr Mousley said.

Her injuries would have caused ‘catastrophic’ blood loss and fainting, he added, and Ms Case suffered a 9cm deep stab wound to the back of her shoulder, with another shorter 2cm deep wound.

Forensics at the scene Picture: Chris Moorhouse (310719-85)

She also suffered ‘eight shallow wounds above the right collar bone inflicted before death’.

Those injuries could have been done to ‘control or coerce, or perhaps terrify, Kelly-Anne so that perhaps she would do what she was being told’.

Mr Mousley added: ‘Kelly-Anne Case’s wrists had been tied together in front of her using two white plastic cable ties and a thicker black one.’

He said: ‘The killer, before leaving Kelly-Anne’s home started two fires downstairs using bedding from Kelly-Anne’s bed to try to burn down the house with her body inside, in a display of what the prosecution says is one of utter disrespect and contempt for her body.’

Kelly-Anne Case (pictured right). Picture: Family handout/Hampshire police

The seats of the fires were in the kitchen and living room. Rowan-Davies was arrested in Portsmouth on July 31, the court heard.

Mr Mousley said: ‘Following the discovery of the fire and then the body of Kelly-Anne the police on a... thorough investigation, and it became clear that the defendant Brendan Rowan-Davies was the murderer.

‘He had visited Kelly-Anne a few hours earlier with a friend called Will Vallender but then left.

‘He (Rowan-Davies) then however had returned and killed her before leaving again, disposing of the murder weapon and his clothing and keeping out of sight as best he could.

The aftermath of fire at Grange Crescent, Gosport Picture: Chris Moorhouse (310719-89)

‘It was on the following day that police found him in Portsmouth.’

The court heard Ms Case was 5ft 1in and weighed seven-and-a-half stone. Mr Mousley said her ‘lifestyle involved drinking and taking drugs and as such she would allow various people into her home day and night’. The comings and goings ‘disturbed’ neighbours, he said.

He said: ‘Some of the people who came in were friends, even intimate ones.’

The defendant denies murder and arson.