Page last updated at 15:25 GMT, Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Wife denies Hannah accused affair

Hannah Foster
Hannah Foster disappeared after a night out with a friend in March 2003

A married woman has denied having an affair with the man accused of the abduction, rape and murder of teenager Hannah Foster in Hampshire.

Carole Dennis told Winchester Crown Court she had only met Maninder Pal Singh Kohli three times and not alone.

Mrs Dennis said she had known Mr Kohli because he worked at Hazlewood Foods with her husband of 16 years, James.

Hannah disappeared in Southampton on 14 March 2003 on a night out. Mr Kohli, 40, denies her murder.

Nicholas Haggan QC, for the prosecution, asked: "Have you ever had an affair with him [Mr Kohli]?"

Mother-of-one Mrs Dennis sobbed as she replied: "No."

"Any form of sexually relationship with him?" asked Mr Haggan.

"No," said Mrs Dennis, a civilian police worker.

Maninder Pal Singh Kohli
Maninder Pal Singh Kohli denies all the charges against him

The prosecution alleges that Mr Kohli snatched Hannah from the roadside, raped her and then strangled her when he feared she might identify him to the police.

He then went to India but was extradited back to the UK last year.

Earlier the jury had heard that supervisor Mr Dennis had lent 16,000 to Mr Kohli over 18 months when they both worked at Hazlewood Foods because he needed money and he wanted to help him out.

But Mrs Dennis pleaded with him to stop lending and she became ill over the issue.

Mrs Dennis told the jury she found out her husband had lent money to Mr Kohli in July 2002 when she saw that there was less in their joint Barclays account than she thought.

Claims 'disgusting'

Abbas Lakha QC, defending, has accused Mr Dennis and his brother Jonathan of kidnapping Mr Kohli on the night Hannah disappeared and putting him in a "sexually compromising position" because they were scared Mr Kohli would go to India owing the cash.

Also, Mr Lakha has suggested that Mrs Dennis had an affair with Kohli and the money was handed over to stop the fact getting out.

Mr Dennis called the claims "disgusting".

Mrs Dennis said she had only seen Mr Kohli when he had given her and her husband a lift home, in a park in Southampton when he was with his wife and children and at a meeting at Hazlewood Foods.

Hannah, an A-level student, had been walking a short distance from a bus stop to her home in the Portswood area when she vanished. Her body was found two days later in Allington Lane, West End.

The trial continues.

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