Murder suspect ‘used love bites to mark victim’

Debbie Levey
Debbie Levey
M27. Picture: UKNIP

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A DRIVER accused of murdering his ex-lover used love bites to ‘brand’ her, it was claimed in court.

Phillip Brown, a driver in his 40s from Selsey, is charged with murdering his former lover Debbie Levey, 44, of Cherry Tree Cottage, in East Ashling, in January last year.

A colleague of Ms Levey’s at the Leaholme care home, in Gilmore Road, Chichester, told the jury Brown used to laugh when challenged about his habit of giving her the marks.

‘You call them love bites, I would prefer to call it branding myself,’ said Anna-Marie Lee, when questioned by prosecutor Mark Dennis QC on the marks.

She added Ms Levey got ‘extremely upset’ when Brown left the love bites on her, and it once took 45 minutes to cover one of them with foundation make-up.

‘She was a 43-year-old woman and she was embarrassed,’ said Ms Lee. ‘There were numerous times. One particular time Phillip turned up where we worked. He came into the foyer and I was furious.’

She told the court she said to Brown: ‘She’s not a 16-year-old girl, pack it in. She’s embarrassed.’

She then said: ‘He just laughed and walked away.’

The jury has heard that Ms Levey was found with a fresh love bite on her neck when her body was discovered at home early on January 28, 2013 by a colleague.

A forensic pathologist told the court he believed she had been smothered and asphyxiated.

Saliva found from a large love bite on the back of her neck was found to have a DNA profile that matched Brown’s.

When opening for the prosecution, Mark Dennis QC said that considering Ms Levey showered and bathed twice a day, the finding of saliva clearly showed Brown had been at her house on the day she died – something he denies.

Brown was arrested just after 7pm the day Ms Levey’s body was discovered, after being quizzed by detectives. He denies the charge and his defence case is due to start next week.