Man on Trial Over Bournemouth Murder

A court's heard that an obsessed man raped and murdered his ex-girlfriend in his Bournemouth flat, then said she had died during a sex game.

Winchester Crown Court was told that 37-year-old Alan Pickersgill said Julie Bywater put a cable tie around her neck, but she went too far and strangled herself

But Anthony Donne QC, prosecuting, alleged that Pickersgill murdered her because he could not take her rejection of him and that his explanation of her death was "wholly unreal and untrue''. The jury was told that teaching assistant, Ms Bywater, 32, had ended the relationship with Pickersgill in April last year.

Unknown to the dead woman, Pickersgill had installed covert CCTV in his bedroom and bathroom of his flat and had taped them in bed. When the relationship ended, he put a tracking device on her car to find out where she went. An example, Mr Donne said, of his obsession.

The couple had met on a massage course in September 2009 and soon became lovers. Although Pickersgill had been "needy'', Ms Bywater had typically offered to help him complete the massage course and went around to his flat on May 4 so the pair could massage each other.

Mr Donne said the covert CCTV was turned off by Pickersgill that night but it had been on the day before when Ms Bywater had gone around there to practise massage.

Late that evening, Pickersgill made a series of phone calls to his mother and brother in Lancashire that went to answerphone. On one played to the jury, Pickersgill told his mother:

"Panic. Do not call the police. It's gone awfully wrong. Julie and I were in a massage, one thing led to another and it ended up in sex and I killed her.''

Ms Bywater's worried mother eventually called her daughter's phone that evening and Pickersgill answered and talked to her for more than seven minutes telling her she was asleep. He also went out to her car to remove the tracking device.

Eventually the concerned mother and a friend went around to the flat but got no answer and the police were called. Officers found Ms Bywater on the bed and Pickersgill in a foetal position in the room. There was no sign she had struggled to get the tie off her neck, the court was told.

In police interview, Pickersgill said that Ms Bywater had suggested she was tied up on the massage table to "christen it'' and they then moved to the bed where she used the cable tie while Pickersgill performed a sex act on her and he realised she was dead five minutes later.

The trial is expected to last four weeks.