Sex-with-corpse man "did not know victim was dead"

LONDON (Reuters) - A chef accused of murdering young model Sally Anne Bowman did not know his victim was dead until after he stopped having sex with her corpse despite finding her in a pool of blood, a court heard on Monday.

Sally Anne Bowman is seen in an undated handout photo. A chef accused of murdering young model Bowman did not know his victim was dead until after he stopped having sex with her corpse despite finding her in a pool of blood, a court heard on Monday. REUTERS/Handout

Mark Dixie, 37, was branded “disgusting” by his own defence barrister for letting “his lust to get the better of him”, the Old Bailey was told.

Dixie denies killing Bowman but admits he took “advantage of the situation” after discovering the 18-year-old’s dead body in the street in Croydon, south of London, the jury have heard.

Bowman was stabbed at about 4 a.m. in Blenheim Crescent, Croydon in September 2005, shortly after being dropped off close to her home by her boyfriend, prosecutors said.

Dixie says he stumbled on the blonde’s naked body by chance as he staggered home drunk after celebrating his birthday that same night. Prosecutors have said sex acts were performed as Bowman lay dying or was dead in a pool of blood, including sexual intercourse.

Bowman, who was working as a hairdresser and part-time model at the time of her death, was discovered about two hours later by a neighbour who saw her legs sticking out.

Before Dixie took the stand in his defence on Monday his barrister, Anthony Glass, addressed the jury in a bid to explain his client’s “disgusting conduct”.

“It is, you may think, a very unattractive defence,” he told the jury. “He did not know she was dead until intercourse was concluded. Even though you may think his conduct is disgusting, he allowed his lust to get the better of him.”

Dixie, dressed in a dark suit, light blue shirt and matching tie, spoke with a slow monotone voice as he gave his evidence.

He admitted he had indecently assaulted a Jehovah’s Witness in her 40’s when he was a teenager.

After the woman came to his flat he shared with his then girlfriend, Dixie admitted going “ballistic” when she made derogatory comments about their still-born baby.

“She told me that maybe it was God’s way of saying you were not fit enough to become a father,” he said. He then dragged her out and punched her twice in the face.

The court also heard that in June 1998 he allegedly raped and stabbed an 19 year-old Asian girl in Perth, Australia.

The woman, now 30, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, had earlier given evidence on Monday, saying she was stabbed and sexually assaulted in Australia ten years ago by Dixie - a claim he denied despite his DNA being found on her body.

He told the jury he spent several years in Australia, earning excellent money as a pub chef, which helped him pay prostitutes twice a week.

Asked how DNA was found on the then-student’s body, Dixie told the jury: “The only explanation I can give is either I picked her up or she was a working girl. “I did not stab or rape her.”

The trial continues.

Editing by Jeremy Lovell