Kayleigh Dunning murder: Accused Mark Brandford described as 'sham' and 'jealous manipulator' as prosecution concludes case

A ‘JEALOUS manipulator’ has been ‘exposed’ as murdering his girlfriend after deciding ‘no one else can have her’, a court heard.

By Steve Deeks
Wednesday, 17th February 2021, 2:27 pm

Colas road sweeper Mark Brandford, 49, was branded a ‘sham’ and someone who was ‘insulting the intelligence’ of jurors over his ‘lies’ during the prosecution’s summing-up at Portsmouth Crown Court.

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Brandford denies murdering his partner Kayleigh Dunning at his Kingston Crescent flat in North End overnight on December 16-17, 2019, after the pair celebrated becoming engaged that night.

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CCTV shown to a murder trial jury at Portsmouth Crown Court shows Mark Brandford at Betfred in Arundel Street when he gets a call from police about Kayleigh Dunning who had been reported missing on December 17

Prosecutor Simon Jones said Ms Dunning’s murder pointed overwhelmingly at Brandford. ‘Mark Brandford is a cold, calculated killer who showed no emotion,’ he said.

‘He brutally and viciously murdered her and knew what he was going to find having left it as late as possible to make the 999 call before returning to his flat.

‘He is vicious and deceptive and he is insulting your intelligence.

‘The prosecution make it very clear the 999 call was a sham, a staged act giving the impression he was devastated about his fiancee.’

Mr Jones went on to say how Brandford’s ‘act’ was exposed by paramedic Debbie Tobutt who was the first on scene to try and save the already-dead Ms Dunning.

The prosecutor said Brandford ‘slipped up’ after being unaware of her presence at first when she entered the room - with him carrying out CPR ‘like he was playing the piano lightly’.

Brandford’s ‘staged noise, putting fingers down his throat to be sick and fake staggering’ led to Ms Tobutt telling the court he was ‘putting on an act that was very staged’, Mr Jones reminded jurors.

The prosecutor said these actions supported Brandford’s behaviour on December 17 - where he met friends and was seen in betting shops and messaged Ms Dunning - which were ‘designed to deceive from the horrendous crime he had committed’.

Referring to the revenge porn charge, where Brandford was accused of sending explicit pictures and videos to those close to Ms Dunning, Mr Jones said the defendant had his ‘flaws exposed’.

‘He was caught out by the police investigation,’ Mr Jones said, before adding that Brandford’s phone was located in the same area as Ms Dunning’s stolen handset where the explicit material was sent from.

Mr Jones said: ‘The only two people who had access to the phone were him and Kayleigh. Is he really suggesting Kayleigh would send out all these images of herself to people?’

The prosecutor said Brandford attempted to ‘explain away evidence by coincidences’ to ‘pull the wool over people’s eyes’ - with him referring to the dumping of the stolen crowbar as further proof of this.

A crowbar was found in Mablethorpe Road three months after the murder - a location Brandford was seen ‘loitering’ in by a PCSO the day after the killing. ‘You were about to dump the crowbar you had used to murder Kayleigh with,’ Mr Jones said.

The prosecutor added there was no evidence anyone one else wanted to cause harm to Ms Dunning - with evidence ruling out other possible suspects.

He said Brandford’s rage ‘built and built’ over his jealousy of other men and in particular Dean Drooney, Ms Dunning’s ex-partner.

‘You thought “if I can’t have her then no one else can”,’ Mr Jones said before adding Brandford was a ‘jealous manipulator’.

Mr Jones concluded to jurors: ‘Since you left the flat you have been trying to get away with murder. We, the prosecution team, invite you to not let him.’

He added: ‘Don’t let him get away with murder. Find him guilty.’

Brandford denies murder and a charge of revenge porn.

(Proceeding)

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