Gosport murder trial: Defence barrister tells jury it is 'equally likely' someone else killed Kelly-Anne Case
DNA evidence shows it is ‘equally likely’ an unknown person murdered a mum-of-three, an accused killer’s defence barrister has told jurors.
Kate Lumsdon QC, defending Brendan Rowan-Davies at Winchester Crown Court, has urged the murder and arson trial jury to ‘look at possibilities from the evidence’ presented by prosecutor William Mousley QC.
Rowan-Davies, 29, of Trinity Close, Gosport, denies murder and arson. He is accused of slitting Kelly-Anne Case’s throat and setting fire to her home in Grange Crescent, Gosport, on July 30. Firefighters found her bound body after being called at 8.33am.
Miss Lumsdon said mixed DNA profiles were found on items, with Ms Case and the defendant’s included in them.
She said: ‘There’s a third person involved. A third person unknown. And who is the unknown person?
‘Mr Mousley says, in his introductory remarks, “you’ve got the DNA of the killer of Kelly-Anne Case”. Well you have, and maybe it’s the unknown person. It’s equally likely isn’t it?’
Miss Lumsdon said jurors should consider who may have a grievance or want to punish Ms Case, who had only returned to Gosport in April having fled in March after receiving ‘death threats’. Miss Lumsdon said that came after a ‘man had his jaw broken at her house’ in March.
‘Kelly received death threats from his family, took her children and moved out of Gosport in March,’ she said.
Ms Case had also been chased down the road and assaulted, Miss Lumsdon said.
‘It was a complicated life that she was living,’ the barrister said.
Ms Case sent a text message to someone saying her home had been ‘smashed up’ and ‘three lads’ grabbed her at her home. This happened before the defendant and his friend Will Vallender went to Ms Case’s home on July 30.
At around 11.30pm on July 29 Ms Case called another man and he said she sounded ‘very emotional, borderline hysterical’.
Jurors have been told the motive ‘appears to be sexual’. But Miss Lumsdon said: ‘There’s no evidence of any sexual interference by Brendan Rowan-Davies and that of course is the motive alleged by the crown and there’s no evidence of it.’
Miss Lumsdon added: ‘There’s no evidence of sexual contact between Mr Rowan-Davies and Kelly-Anne Case. She was tied up, was that necessarily sexual or could it be something else?
‘Why did they say it was sexual? Because it was Rowan-Davies, because he’d always fancied Kelly-Anne? Is that enough to have a sexual motive for a brutal murder?’
On Rowan-Davies’ evidence he interrupted the true killer and was threatened, Miss Lumsdon said: ‘The question is not is he telling the truth? Strictly putting it in terms of burden of proof... the question is really this: is it possible that he’s telling the truth?’
Concluding, she said: ‘If you consider there’s any possibility that someone other than Mr Rowan-Davies is responsible for this crime, you must acquit him.’
The judge is due to sum up the case on Monday.