Serial killer fan accused of murder 'raped and threatened to kill second victim'

A horror film fan accused of murdering a woman and chopping her into 11 pieces is alleged to have raped a second victim near a canal and threatened to kill her, a jury has heard.

Nathan Maynard-Ellis, 30, is alleged to have told the assault victim where he would hide her body if he killed her.

Coventry Crown Court was told on Wednesday that 42-year-old Julia Rawson was killed after she was lured to a ‘flat of horrors’ in Tipton, West Midlands, in May 2019.

The trial earlier heard that Maynard-Ellis was said to be obsessed with violence and serial killers, with the flat containing stuffed animals, live snakes in tanks, spiders on the walls and ‘gory’ home-made masks of characters in horror films.

Prosecutors allege that Maynard-Ellis and his boyfriend, 25-year-old David Leesley, walked along a canal near their flat to hide Ms Rawson’s body parts in undergrowth.

Both men deny murder, while Maynard-Ellis also denies counts of rape, attempted rape and making threats to kill relating to historical allegations made by a woman following his arrest last year.

In a video interview played to jurors on Thursday, the complainant, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, said she was attacked while walking near a canal in the West Midlands.

She told police last year that Maynard-Ellis had pointed out a specific location near the waterway to her, telling an interviewing officer: ‘He said he wanted to show me something.

‘He suddenly went from being calm … and said if he kills me that’s where he will put my body.’

The woman alleges that she was then raped by Maynard-Ellis, after he made her remove some of her clothing.

Opening the prosecution’s case on Wednesday, Crown counsel Karim Khalil QC urged jurors to act dispassionately given the ‘especially gruesome’ allegations.

The court heard that Maynard-Ellis and Leesley were living at a flat in Mission Drive, Tipton, when Ms Rawson disappeared after travelling there in a taxi with the older defendant following a chance meeting in a pub.

Jurors were told that Maynard-Ellis has admitted concealment of a corpse and perverting the course of justice by replacing bloodstained carpet and underlay at his flat.

Leesley has admitted the same charges, although he does not accept ‘any element of dismemberment’.

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