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Thursday, 27 November 2014

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Barrow woman accused of murder posed for 'selfies' with rotting corpse, jury told

A BARROW woman posed for ‘selfies’ by the rotting corpse of a man she murdered with her lover, a court heard.

Kirsty Edmondson
Kirsty Edmondson

Kirsty Edmondson, 23, and Christopher Sawyers, 36, both of no fixed address, are alleged to have taken ‘trophy photos’ after deciding to ‘off’ Kenneth Chapman, 48, for his money with a ‘very large’ dose of heroin.

It’s alleged in their Manchester Crown Court trial that after Mr Chapman’s death on December 28, the pair used his car, tried to use his debit card to get £100 cash, an iPhone and phone credit, used his phone to con £75 from his sister, took over his flat at Anson Street, Eccles, and filmed themselves having sex in his bed as his body decomposed.

Mr Sawyers is said to have boasted to pals of the killing - showing them a picture of the body.

Seventeen months earlier, on July 5 2012, another man, Peter Clark, 60, was rushed to hospital and died after being allegedly injected with heroin in the hand by Mr Sawyers at an address at Tutbury Street, Ancoats.

In the aftermath Mr Sawyers allegedly used his phone and debit card.

Although it has not been suggested by the prosecution that Mr Clark was deliberately killed, it is alleged that after he escaped punishment for that death, Mr Sawyers got the idea there was ‘money to be made from murder’ and so killed Mr Chapman.

Mr Sawyers denies murdering Kenneth Chapman and the manslaughter of Peter Clark.

Kirsty Edmondson denies murdering Mr Chapman.

The jury heard that both alleged victims led normal lives before sinking into drug use and mixing with addicts and prostitutes.

Peter Clark had attended medical school and worked as an accountant and his drug-induced death came as a ‘complete schock’ to his parents.

Meanwhile, Kenneth Chapman had served in the army and worked as a teacher, and had £18,000 in his bank account from the sale of his house when he died.

While Mr Clark is said to have consented to being injected with heroin, Mr Chapman was allegedly ‘comatose’ from a previous dose of the drug when he got the fatal injection.

His body was found on January 12.

Opening the case, Tony Cross QC said of the defendants: “So twisted were their actions they even took selfies of themselves enjoying themselves in the very same room as the cadaver”.

Mr Sawyers is alleged to have told witnesses. ‘if you want to see something sick I will show you a photograph of a corpse’, before producing the image from his phone.

Three weeks later, Mr Sawyers is said to have shown the photo to another woman in the belief a ‘twisted criminal code’ would prevent anyone informing.

Police were told by another witness that before Mr Chapman’s death, Mr Sawyers was heard saying to Ms Edmondson, ‘we can’t keep taking him for bits, we need to see him off’.

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