Killer 'slept next to girlfriend's body' after bludgeoning her to death

An alcoholic slept for a night next to the body of his girlfriend after he had bludgeoned over the head with a lump hammer, a court has heard.

James D'Arcy, 50, is on trial at Winchester Crown Court accused of the murder of hairdresser Hayley Dean, who was found dead in bed at her home in Gainslea Court, Derby Road, Bournemouth, Dorset, on September 16 last year.

Kerry Maylin, prosecuting, said the 38-year-old suffered blunt force head injuries, skull fractures, multiple cuts to her scalp and forehead and injuries to her right hand.

She said: "All of these injuries could have been caused by the lump hammer which was found under the pillow of the bed where she lay in her flat."

She added that she was found with her head under the pillow with a cigarette still in her lips and a lighter in her hand.

Ms Maylin said D'Arcy, of no fixed address, admitted killing Miss Dean but denied murder.

She told the jury of five women and seven men: "The question for you is whether his responsibility is diminished by his mental condition, which is alcohol dependency syndrome. He is a man dependent on alcohol to function."

Ms Maylin said D'Arcy went to the home of a friend, Robert Wilson, and told him: "I need to talk to you seriously, I have done something bad. I have killed my missus.

"I wrapped a duvet over her head before I hit her with a sledgehammer. She is dead, I have slept with her all night.

"I definitely done it, there's blood all up the wall."

Mr Wilson then took D'Arcy, who said he wanted to take pills and die next to Miss Dean, to a police station where the defendant told officers: "I killed my girlfriend, I smashed her head in.

He added: "I made her head into a pizza.

"I pummelled her head into a pizza. She will never f*** with anyone again.

"I have just shoved my bird's head in. I am not really f****** happy about it but she deserved it."

He also asked officers: "I have just been done for murder, can I have some hot food and drink, please?"

Ms Maylin said the victim had been living with the defendant for about three months.

She said: "The relationship between them can at best be described as turbulent, neighbours described loud music, offensive language and excessive drinking which escalated when Mr D'Arcy moved in."

Ms Maylin said a neighbour heard Miss Dean shouting "Get out of my flat" on September 15 before hearing a "slow and steady deep thud" about 15 times with intervals of 10 to 15 seconds.

Following her death, Miss Dean's family said in a statement released through Dorset Police: "Hayley was a very bubbly and funny girl who was adored by everyone she met.

"She had lots of friends and enjoyed spending time with them. She always had a smile on her face and was full of life. She is going to be very sadly missed.

"She enjoyed fashion, make-up and hair and loved to make herself look nice. She completed a hairdressing course and it was her dream to open her own salon one day."

The trial continues.


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