India Chipchase: Accused denies being a ‘fantasist’

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The man accused of murdering India Chipchase has denied being a “fantasist” who made up conversations he had with the 20-year-old on the night he met her.

In the final part of his evidence given to a jury on the eighth day of his trial, Edward Tenniswood, aged 52, denied he had raped and murdered Miss Chipchase.

Under cross examination from Christopher Donnellan QC, Tenniswood said he had not given an account to the police when he was interviewed on February 1, the day after Miss Chipchase’s body was found, because he had been “advised to say no comment” by his solicitor.

The court heard that Tenniswood also declined to say anything to officers when he was interviewed on April 12 after he had been charged with rape.

Tenniswood said he had been given a chance to read all the witness statements related to his case, including the pathology report detailing Miss Chipchase’s injuries.

Mr Donnellan asked Tenniswood if he had “used the information” picked up in the pathology report to “develop a story” about the conversations he had with Miss Chipchase.

The prosecutor said: “You have developed a fantasy account of your interactions with India from the time you met her and after she arrived at your house.

“The truth is you started to rape her and she tried to fight you off.

“She scratched your neck and made you angry, you grabbed her round the throat. “She fought, you then squeezed harder.

“You wanted to hurt her as she had made you angry and would not willingly give you what you wanted.

“You squeezed your bare hands around her neck until she stopped breathing. You knew what you were doing, this is what you intended.”

Tenniswood said Mr Donnellan’s statements were “not true” and that he “completely and utterly refuted” the allegations..

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