Murdered Nicola 'changed after drinking'

THE fiancé of an Ipswich charity worker allegedly murdered by two men in a car near the town's dry ski-slope has told a court that she became a different person after she had been drinking.

THE fiancé of an Ipswich charity worker allegedly murdered by two men in a car near the town's dry ski-slope has told a court that she became a different person after she had been drinking.

James Gentleman said it became obvious to him during his six year relationship with 34-year-old Nicola West that she had a drink problem.

He said that Miss West would drink alcohol while taking anti-depressants and would become a different person. “She could become verbally abusive and it was almost as if it wasn't her,” he said.

Mr Gentleman told Ipswich Crown Court that in winter months Miss West would drink a bottle of wine a night during the week and at weekends would drink two bottles of wine per day.

He told the court that he and Miss West had “a pretty good and normal” sex life although her sex drive was lowered by the medication she was taking.

He said she had never asked if they could try something out of the ordinary during sex after she had been drinking.

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He also said she had never expressed an interest in bondage or sadomasochism and had never asked him to strangle her while they were having sex.

Before the court are Robert McCarry, 36, of Vernon Street, Ipswich and Paul Waters, 29, of Sandpiper Road, Ipswich. They have both denied murdering Miss West of Leather Bottle Hill, Little Blakenham in February.

McCarry has also denied two offences of raping Miss West on February 8 while Waters has denied attempting to rape Miss West and aiding and abetting McCarry on one of the rape charges.

Both men have denied perverting the cause of justice and McCarry has further denied conspiracy to pervert the cause of justice.

The court has heard that McCarry alleged to police that Miss West had died accidentally after asking him to strangle her during sex to heighten her sexual pleasure.

The trial continues.