'Row over child support' led to Thornton Heath mum Janelle Duncan-Bailey being strangled and hidden in car boot, Old Bailey hears
A dad strangled the mother of his son to death before hiding her body in the boot of his car after a row over child support, a jury has heard today as his trial for murder began.
Jerome McDonald murdered his ex-girlfriend, 25-year-old Janelle Duncan-Bailey, in Fairlands Avenue, Thornton Heath, and hid her body while her family and police frantically searched for her, prosecutors told the Old Bailey today.
Mr McDonald, 31, is alleged to have killed Miss Duncan-Bailey, a nursery nurse of Pawsons Road, in the early hours of January 2 after she revealed to his new girlfriend he was the father of her two-year-old son, Khamal.
For the next three days, Mr McDonald appeared to join in the search for mum-of-two Miss Duncan-Bailey, even reporting her missing to police.
But on January 5, he admitted dumping her lifeless body in the boot of his Ford Galaxy, in Mayfield Crescent, where officers found her wrapped in a sheet and bin bags and hidden underneath a chair.
In police interviews, Mr McDonald claimed he had pushed Miss Duncan-Bailey away as she attacked him with a hammer, causing her to fatally bang her head.
But the court heard a post-mortem examination found no signs of serious head injury and a pathologist instead reported deep bruises consistent with strangulation, possibly with a ligature.
Prosecutor Edward Brown also questioned why, if Miss Duncan-Bailey's death had been accidental, Mr McDonald did not call for an ambulance or police.
Mr Brown said: "What he did do, of course, was take some trouble to hide the body away from those looking for her, adding something of an insult to his callous refusal to help the police and family in the first hours and days."
Mr McDonald denies murder. The trial, expected to last for two weeks, continues.
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