Gosport murder trial: Taxi driver says accused seemed like he had been drinking but was acting 'casually'

A TAXI driver who picked up an alleged murderer accused of torturing a woman before slitting her throat told a court the man appeared to have been ‘drinking’ but was acting ‘casually’.

Tuesday, 21st January 2020, 6:00 am

Brendan Rowan-Davies, 29, is alleged to have fled Grange Crescent in Gosport after tying up a naked Kelly-Anne Case, 27, in her home before slicing her throat and burning her property on July 30.

Her body was discovered by firefighters around 8.15am after they battled to extinguish the blaze.

Rowan-Davies is accused of attempting to cover his tracks after leaving the address, changing his clothes twice and dumping items.

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Kelly-Anne Case Picture: Family/Hampshire Constabulary

Winchester Crown Court heard how taxi driver David Elsey picked up two men just before 6.30am after having reservations over whether to accept the fare.

In a statement read out to the court by prosecutor William Mousley QC, the witness said: ‘During the first phone call I was asked to pick them up from a kebab house. I could hear them speaking to each other and they did not appear to know where they were.

‘They asked to be dropped off at the ferry terminal in Gosport.’

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

During a subsequent call from the men, the taxi driver was asked to pick the pair up from Grange Crescent. ‘The males sounded like they had been drinking. I wasn’t sure if they would turn up and if they would pay,’ he said.

In the end he picked them up from nearby Cambridge Road. ‘Both the men were very casual when they got in and then changed their minds on where they wanted to go,’ Mr Elsey said.

Once in the car they opted to go to Trinity Close - where Rowan-Davies lives - before deciding to be dropped off at St George’s Barracks.

Mr Elsey added: ‘One of the men was making conversation about going to see a woman. There was a lot of talk about money.’

The court also heard from PC Simon Glasby after searches of bins were carried out by police at Gosport Borough Council Depot on August 8 after items from Trinity Close were thought to have been transferred there for disposal.

The officer confirmed items thought to belong to both the accused and victim were found after white Nike trainers and female underwear were discovered.

‘We put them to one side,’ he said before adding that a crime scene officer ‘arrived and took away the items’.

Rowan-Davies denies murder and arson.