Dad wrapped ex's body in sheet and bin bags, court hears
A man who strangled the mother of his son wrapped her body in a sheet and bin bags, before hiding it underneath a chair in the boot of his car, a court heard today.
Jerome McDonald murdered his ex-girlfriend, 25-year-old Janelle Duncan-Bailey, after the fight at his home in Fairlands Avenue, Thornton Heath, then posed as a concerned friend as her family and police frantically searched for her, the Old Bailey was told today.
Dad-of-three Mr McDonald, 31, is alleged to have killed Miss Duncan-Bailey; a special needs school nurse, of Pawsons Road, and his murder trial began at the Old Bailey this morning.
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.
He later claimed to have killed her in self-defence after she lunged at him with a hammer, but prosecutor Edward Brown said Mr McDonald had lied "again and again" to cover his tracks.
The court heard mum-of-two Miss Duncan-Bailey confronted Mr McDonald, a DJ, at his house just after 4.30am, having been at a nightclub, and was heard to shout "all you give me is £5 a week" by a neighbour.
Fatally, she returned to Mr McDonald's house and was never seen alive again.
For the next three days, mechanic Mr McDonald appeared to join in the search for mum-of-two Miss Duncan-Bailey, even reporting her missing to police, the court was told.
But on January 5, he admitted dumping her lifeless body in the boot of his Ford Galaxy, parked in Mayfield Crescent, Thornton Heath.
The court heard Miss Ofei, who left the house distraught after learning about Mr McDonald's secret child, later heard him sob over the phone: "She's not moving. What are my kids going to think of me? My son is going to hate me."
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.
Mr Brown said: "Janelle Duncan-Bailey died from strangulation, a deliberate act by the defendant, perhaps in the heat of an argument." The prosecutor questioned why, if Miss Duncan-Bailey's death had been accidental, Mr McDonald did not call for an ambulance or police.
He added: "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."
The court heard the disappearance of "happy and bubbly" Miss Duncan-Bailey, who also had a seven-year-old son, Caden, led to friends and family forming desperate search parties.
Her close friend, Darelle Hall, who had been babysitting her sons on the night she died, told the Old Bailey: "Some people were panicking, some people just wanted to go out and search for her, and some people were crying because they knew something bad had happened because it just wasn't like her."
Mr McDonald denies murder.
The trial, expected to last two weeks, continues.
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