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Brighton mother smothered by spurned ex, court hears
5:05pm Tuesday 7th January 2014 in News
A Brighton mother found dead in her country cottage had been smothered by a spurned ex-partner, a court heard.
Debbie Levey's body was found sitting upright in her rented home with a blanket up to her neck and her mobile phone at the bottom of a fish tank.
Lewes Crown Court heard 46-year-old Phillip Brown murdered the care home manager on January 27, 2013, before embarking on a cover up.
Mark Dennis QC, prosecuting, told how 44-year-old Ms Levey met the defendant the previous January before entering an “intense” and “passionate” relationship.
The Brighton born mum-of-one was renting a house in East Ashling close to her work at Chichester based Leaholme Care .
The jury heard the pair had endured a turbulent relationship with Ms Levey choosing to end it in towards the end of 2012.
Mr Dennis QC said Brown could not “accept” it was over and sent a string of “nasty” text messages in which he wished her dead and end even sent pictures of himself self harming.
After recovering from the operation he also sent a bogus complaint to her employers in an attempt to have her fired, the court heard.
However, the pair remained in touch and they decided to meet at her home in Cherry Tree Cottage on Sunday January 27, while her 16-year-old daughter Jade was at her father's.
Mr Dennis QC said after drinking and chatting together, the defendant “smothered” his victim before “staging” the scene so it appeared she died of other means.
After placing a blanket over her and throwing her mobile phone in a fish tank, he sent a serious of messages from his phone so it appeared he was never at the house, he added.
Throughout the Sunday evening he continued with messages stating “sorry I missed you” and “let me know you are ok” and even contacted one of her friends to express his concern, Mr Dennis QC said.
However, it was only the following morning her body was discovered when a friend came to pick her up for work.
At first nothing appeared suspicious until the discovery of “love bites” on her neck and mobile phone at the bottom of her fish tank.
The court heard how the post mortem revealed she died of asphyxia and the love bites matched his DNA.
Brown, from the Chichester area, denies the charge of murder.
The trial continues.
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