A CHEF’S account of how his ex-girlfriend came to die is a series of “dramatic inconsistencies” because he was trying to remember the lies he told after murdering her, a court heard.

This was the accusation of prosecutor Duncan Atkinson QC as he summed up the case against Robert Trigg yesterday.

Trigg is standing trial accused of killing two of his former partners five years apart in Worthing. He is charged with the murder of Susan Nicholson and the manslaughter of Caroline Devlin.

Mr Atkinson said there was an “inherent unlikeliness” of Trigg’s account of Ms Nicholson’s death after the statements he made to witnesses at the time of the incident, during her inquest and later when questioned by police differed.

The court heard how expert opinions were “in dispute” over the causes of deaths and there were “significant similarities” between them. Both women were said to have died in their sleep with Trigg waking to the discovery. He did not call emergency services on both occasions – leading to a delay of “at least” 45 minutes after her body was found, jurors heard. The court was also told of a history of drink-fuelled violence against his partners.

Ms Devlin, 35, was found dead in bed on Mothers’ Day by one of her children as they went to ask what she wanted for breakfast at home in Cranworth Road, Worthing, on March 26, 2006.

Trigg claimed he accidentally rolled on top of 52-year-old Ms Nicholson when they were both asleep on the sofa in Rowlands Road, Worthing on April 17, 2011.

Inquests found the deaths were caused by natural and accidental causes respectively. But another pathologist then reviewed the post-mortem results and Trigg was questioned by police as a suspect in November.

Summing up, Mr Atkinson called on the jury to use their “common sense and experience” to come to their verdict.

He claimed Trigg’s actions were not that of a “distraught lover” who had discovered his partner Ms Nicholson dead but one of someone biding themselves time. He said Trigg had “gratuitously” encouraged Ms Devlin’s children to see her dead body.

Yesterday the 52-year-old, of Park Crescent, Worthing, refused to take the stand and give evidence at Lewes Crown Court.

Justice Ingrid Simler asked if the defendant had been made aware that if he chose not to do so “without good cause” or refused to answer the questions that the jury “may draw such conclusions”.

To which Sally Howes, defending, responded: “Yes, he has.”

Judge Simler told the jury: “The defendant has chosen not to give evidence. He has a perfect right not to give evidence and to require the prosecution to prove the case.”

She said this did mean he had offered no oral evidence to contradict, undermine or explain what had been heard so far and that may mean they give more weight to the prosecution’s case, adding: “You are open to conclude that he remained silent because he has no answer to the prosecution case.”

Trigg denies murder and manslaughter.

The trial continues.


ROBERT Trigg was described in court as “possessive”, “controlling” and “jealous”.

The jury were told of a history of violent incidents against his partners.

While original inquests found Susan Nicholson and Caroline Devlin died of accidental or natural causes, Duncan Atkinson QC, prosecuting, said there was the “possibility” of an “equally violent causation”.

Mr Atkinson said Ms Nicholson’s family “did not let go when the police did” and called for the cause of death to be re-investigated.

Trigg was arrested and handed a caution for assaulting her a month before, jurors were told.

In a statement given to police at the time he said: “I was arrested four weeks ago for an assault on Sue while drunk.

“She had a bloody nose and bruising on her arms.”

He told police he knew she was dead when he left her body to bu cigarettes before calling 999.

He also left the house to buy milk after Ms Devlin died, the court heard.

More than two years before her death, Trigg was cautioned by police for common assault on another woman, Susan Holland, in November 2003.

Trigg accused Ms Holland of sleeping with one of her neighbours, and he called police, telling them: “I’m going to kill her.

“You need to arrest me.”

The court heard she died in February and an inquest found this was due to natural causes.