India Chipchase murder suspect tells jury pair had 'loving' sex

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A former bookkeeper accused of raping and murdering a barmaid told a court she moved his hands around her neck during "loving" sex at his squalid house.

Edward Tenniswood, 52, also alleged that 20-year-old India Chipchase and he twice had intercourse, with her telling him she had not felt that happy "in ages".

Stood in the witness box at Birmingham Crown Court, the 52-year-old described what happened at his rented house in Northampton in the early hours of Saturday, January 30.

Demonstrating to jurors by placing his own hands around his neck in a rubbing motion, he said: "She puts her hands on top of my hands and moves my hands down to her neck."

He added: "It's a very organic thing."

Tenniswood said that she then moved his hands away.

Earlier on the seventh day of his trial, he described how he hugged his victim "like we were posing for a selfie" after claiming she kissed him first.

He claimed the moment was "an incredibly moving thing" as he described he and Ms Chipchase embracing and looking at their reflections together in an upstairs mirror.

Tenniswood said: "She just made this incredibly moving comment which at the time was very sweet.

"It was a very 'India' thing to do."

Tenniswood had just described how his alleged victim had injured herself and scratched him after "falling backwards" to the floor while trying to sit on his downstairs sofa.

Immediately afterwards he said the two had shared a joke about the incident and she then gave him a French kiss.

He said: "She actually planted a kiss on me. On the lips.

Tenniswood added: "It was unexpected - to say I was surprised.

"It was a full-on kiss - a French kiss."

Later, he said he "welled up" and the two "hugged hard" over the fall.

He claimed to then have given her the "grand tour" of his rented terraced house, which on Tuesday he had described as "squalid", and led her to an upstairs bedroom with two plastic cups of wine.

Continuing his account of Ms Chipchase's last hours, Tenniswood said the two sat down on a bench in the front bedroom, claiming they shared a moving moment as they sat framed in the mirror on the opposite wall.

He said: "We were sitting on the bench and fixated on the mirror, and she saw our reflection.

"We were framed in the mirror.

"She said: 'Oh, it looks like we're in the middle of an oil painting and she put her arm around me and squeezed, like we were posing for a selfie.

"She squeezed us together like that, and she waved.

"I waved back.

"In retrospect, it was an incredibly moving thing - I thought it was incredibly sweet.

Tenniswood continued: "I looked at her and said 'India' and gently kissed her. It was a lovely image.

"She reciprocated, and it developed into a proper kiss."

When police officers broke down Tenniswood's door on Sunday, January 31, they found 20-year-old Ms Chipchase dead.

Opening the trial last week, the Crown's QC Christopher Donnellan said: "He was overheard by others to say, 'not to worry', and he'd get her home safe - he didn't."

Mr Donnellan added: "It is very likely his motive was sexual and when she resisted him he was determined to have sex and he grabbed her around the throat and squeezed.

"He held her until she was unable to resist any more."

Tenniswood denies the charges but the prosecution has already told the jury he is expected to claim Ms Chipchase consented to sex and that her death was "an accident".

The trial continues.