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Wednesday, 27 August 2014

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Barrow woman accused of murder: ‘I’m no cold, callous killer’

A Barrow woman who posed for selfies by the corpse of an alleged murder victim denied being a “cold, callous killer” when she took the stand in court.

Kirsty Edmondson, formerly of Barrow, is accused of killing former teacher Kenneth Chapman, 47, with a heroin overdose so she could steal from him.

In dramatic testimony, the 23-year-old blamed her co-defendant and “pimp”, Christopher Sawyers, 36, for the killing, but admitted stealing Mr Chapman’s money and belongings before and after he died.

The pair, of no fixed address, deny murder. Sawyers also denies manslaughter, following the Ancoats death of Peter Clarke, 60, who died after a heroin injection in July 2012.

Edmondson said on the day Mr Chapman died they took drugs together at his Eccles flat and after he passed out on the couch, she called Sawyers to the flat because she wanted more drugs.

It’s alleged that Sawyers found newspaper articles in the flat which reported Mr Chapman’s 2007 conviction for child grooming and threatened to kill him.

Edmondson said she “tried to protect” Mr Chapman as Sawyers repeatedly “jabbed” a “massive” needle into him, but he kicked her in the head.

She said: “It reminded me of something in a film – it was sick – I just couldn’t believe what I was seeing with my eyes, it was horrific. Sawyers was ranting and raving, talking about how he’s a serial killer now, he’s done this before.”

She added: “I’ve done things before and after Ken’s death which I’m deeply ashamed of, but I’m not a cold, callous killer that takes ‘trophy pictures’. I’m a thief, a prostitute and a drug addict but I don’t go around murdering people.”

Asked why she posed for photos “cuddling” her co-defendant when Mr Chapman was lying dead a few feet away, she said: “I can’t remember taking those pictures.”

Edmondson said she was assaulted by Sawyers days after Mr Chapman’s death.

She later reported the death to the police, saying, “it was eating me up inside”, and that she was now “paying for it”.

Mr Malcolm Swift QC, defending Mr Sawyers, said Edmondson had perfected being an “actress and a liar” from her years as a prostitute.

She accepted this, but denied lying about the killing, which Sawyers says she committed.

The trial continues.

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