A bouncer killed his girlfriend in a fit of jealous rage in the early hours of New Year’s Day before driving around in her car for two days with the body hidden in the boot, a court heard today.
Aaron Mann, 31, is accused of battering mother-of-four Claire O’Connor, 38, and smothering her with a pillow because he believed she was seeing another man.
Her badly beaten body was found wrapped in her son’s sleeping bag and covered in a dirty sheet in the boot of her car.
Court heard today that Mann dumped her body in the car and drove it around for two days before confessing to his parents what he had done.
A post-mortem revealed Claire had been hit repeatedly with a blunt instrument and suffocated with a pillow.
Mann denies murdering her on the grounds of dismissed responsibility.
Simon Edwards, prosecuting, told the jury of seven men and five woman that Mann and O’Connor had met in February 2010 and had moved in together some time after that.
They had gone to the Green Bear pub in Nuneaton to celebrate the New Year. Mann was due to be paid £100 to work on the door that night.
Claire’s son Daniel O’Connor had also been in the pub that night, and said the couple seemed happy. However, others present said the defendant was complaining about Claire’s behaviour.
According to the prosecutor, ‘Daniel O’Connor left the pub at around 10pm to go to a club with his then girlfriend. The couple returned to Claire’s home at around 1.30am on New Year’s Day.
‘When they returned they found no sign of his mother but met the defendant coming out of the bathroom, apparently having just had a shower.
‘When Daniel asked him where his mother was he replied ‘we’ve had an argument, she’s probably with him.’
‘Him’ was a friend of Claire’s who she had previously had a relationship with called Christopher Denny.
‘When Daniel returned from his friend’s house later that day he noticed his mother’s silver car was not where it was usually parked outside the front of the house.
‘The next day the defendant took his daughters round to his parent’s house. They noticed he was acting strangely, in a more and more disturbed manner, he told them he was hearing voices.
‘After the defendant told his parents that Claire had left, his father asked him what he had done to her.
‘He told his father than he hadn’t done anything but, refusing to believe him, his father asked again.
‘He told his father he had killed her. He told him voices had told him to do it and get rid of the body.
‘He then said he couldn’t bring himself to get rid of the body.’
His mother phoned the police and when they arrived, the defendant shouted ‘please don’t look in the boot’, said Mr Edwards.
He added: ‘Police found her body wrapped in a green sleeping bag which belonged to Daniel. She was then wrapped in a painting sheet.
‘When he was interviewed by a psychiatrist to see if he was fit to be interviewed he told the doctor he had strangled her with a pillow over her face.’
The case continues.