Man denies girlfriend murder

A MAN who strangled his girlfriend to death in “bitter revenge out of jealousy” has denied murder - claiming she provoked him. Shaun Allen admits killing his partner Tina Symes at her Colchester home, but the 25-year-old claimed she had been an alcoholic “tormentor” who made him feel small.

A MAN who strangled his girlfriend to death in “bitter revenge out of jealousy” has denied murder - claiming she provoked him.

Shaun Allen admits killing his partner Tina Symes at her Colchester home, but the 25-year-old claimed she had been an alcoholic “tormentor” who made him feel small.

Chelmsford Crown Court heard yesterday that 35-year-old Ms Symes - a mother-of-three - died from strangulation in the early hours of January 3.

Martyn Levett, prosecuting, said Allen's story was inconsistent and suggested he lied about events, alleging he rearranged the body after the killing.


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He said Allen was not simply provoked during a row but could have been motivated to “reap revenge” after discovering Ms Symes received a text from her former boyfriend, Jake Wilson.

“There was nothing that was said or done in this case which could possibly provoke the defendant to do as he did,” he said.

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“This is a clear case of murder by strangulation,” the prosecutor claimed.

Mr Levett said the couple's relationship was volatile and Ms Symes had been described as a woman who drank to excess and had been treated for a personality disorder.

Allen, formerly of Cross Road, Collier Road, near Romford, told police he had been at the Tippett Close flat all evening, but it later emerged the unemployed demolition worker had spent time at his brother's nearby home on the Greenstead estate.

The jury of six men and six women heard that although nobody witnessed the killing, neighbours heard Allen return to the flat at about 11pm on January 2.

Mr Levett said no arguments or shouting was heard, but the volume of music coming kept going up and down.

Allen told police he and Ms Symes shared three bottles of wine, but said he only drank three glasses.

He said they rowed after he warned her not to drink so much because he thought she was pregnant and she told him he would not be a good father because he was a “philanderer”.

Mr Levett said Allen made a conscious decision to remain in a “volatile, violent and hurtful” situation, suggesting the most obvious reason was to “savour some revenge” against Ms Symes.

Allen admitted to police he had put his hand over Ms Symes' mouth to stop the neighbours hearing the row, but said she bit his fingers, laughed at him and said she was glad to have hurt him.

He said Ms Symes' kicked him, but Mr Levett said no sign of injuries were found on Allen's body.

The defendant told detectives Ms Symes fell backwards onto her side, but he said he could not remember what happened next because his mind went blank.

But it is alleged Allen told his brother's partner Lynne King that he pinned Ms Symes down with his legs, holding her down for six minutes while she was gasping for air.

The post mortem showed abrasions on the front of her throat, indicating she had attempted to remove the defendant's hands in a bid to stop him strangling her.

Mr Levett asked the jury: “Can you really accept that the defendant did not know what he was doing?”

Allen did not call an ambulance or the police, saying he remained with Ms Symes, holding her hand until late morning.

Mr Levett said Allen spent the day in the pub, before his father collected him at 4.30pm when they went to Colchester police station and he confessed.

“It weren't supposed to happen, it was a violent relationship from the start,” he told detectives.

But the prosecution said the delay gave the defendant time to think up a believable story.

When officers entered the flat it was a “complete mess”, drawers had been removed and tipped onto the floor.

Ms Symes was lying on her back with an injury to her jaw and bruising to her arm.

During the post mortem her mobile phone was discovered tucked into her bra. Phone records revealed she received a text from her former boyfriend, Mr Wilson, which the prosecution allege was “more than likely” to be the cause of the argument.

It is alleged Allen was aware of Mr Wilson because he had previously intercepted a text message sent to Ms Symes.

The case continues.

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