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Last Updated: Tuesday, 20 January, 2004, 19:16 GMT
Murder accused 'gave vague answers'
Jane Longhurst
Jane Longhurst's body was found on fire at Wiggonholt Common

The man accused of strangling a teacher for sexual fantasy gave police a vague account of his movements on the day her body was found, a court has heard.

Lewes Crown Court was told how Graham Coutts could not tell detectives exactly where he was on 19 April, when Jane Longhurst's burning body was found on Wiggonholt Common in West Sussex.

Mr Coutts, 35, claimed to be delivering goods for cleaning firm Kleeneze between 1900 GMT and 2200 GMT in Brighton on the evening in question.

But he could not tell police where he had been or who he had visited despite knowing names of roads in the city well, the court heard.

'One in a billion'

It is alleged Mr Coutts strangled Miss Longhurst, a special needs teacher, on 14 March to fulfil a "bizarre and macabre sexual fantasy".

He then stored her body for five weeks before burning it, it is claimed.

Mr Coutts, of Waterloo Street, Hove, denies murder.

Detective Constable David Wright said he went to Mr Coutts' flat on 24 April to question him about his movements on 14 March and 19 April.

Graham Coutts
Graham Coutts denies murdering Jane Longhurst

When asked for receipts for the Kleeneze rounds done on 19 April he could not provide paperwork.

He was arrested, interviewed and released on bail, but was rearrested on 28 April when he was charged with murder.

Earlier the court was shown photographs of items belonging to Miss Longhurst taken from a unit at the storage company.

Among them were a blood-stained box, rope, underwear and Miss Longhurst's mobile phone, swimming costume and goggles.

Forensic scientist Paul Dyer said a DNA test on the semen in a condom, also found, matched Mr Coutts' DNA and said there was a one in a billion chance it was from someone else.

DNA on the outside of the condom matched that of Miss Longhurst as did blood found on a shirt in the unit.

The trial continues.

Jury visits 'body storage spot'
19 Jan 04  |  Southern Counties
Defendant 'wanted to choke lovers'
15 Jan 04  |  Southern Counties
Teacher murder was 'macabre sex act'
14 Jan 04  |  Southern Counties
Teacher's family arrive for trial
14 Jan 04  |  Southern Counties

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