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Tuesday, 3 July, 2001, 16:56 GMT 17:56 UK
Man 'killed and mutilated' women
Police handout picture of murder victim Carol Jordan
Carol Jordan, 39, was battered to death
Two women were battered to death and a third was strangled and set alight by the same killer over a four-day period, a court has been told.

Leicester Crown Court was told that Philip John Smith mutilated the three women almost beyond recognition.

Mr Smith, 35, of Braithwaite Road in Sparkbrook, Birmingham, denies three charges of murder.

The idea that more than one person was responsible for these killings, I suggest is frankly an absurdity

Tim Raggatt QC
The court was told how the smouldering body of Jodie Hyde, 21, was discovered near an adventure play area in Birmingham on 9 November last year.

Mr Smith then battered to death Rosemary Corcoran, 25, and Carol Jordan, 39, on 12 November last year, the jury was told.

Prosecuting, Mr Tim Raggatt QC told the court that all three murders were carried out by Mr Smith.

He said "powerful and compelling" scientific evidence would link him to the killings.

"The prosecution suggest these killings were and could only have been the work of one individual," he told the jury.


"The idea that more than one person was responsible for these killings, I suggest is frankly an absurdity.

Undated Police handout picture of murder victim Rosemary Corcoran, 25
Rosemary Corcoran: Killed in November 2000
"The Crown say that individual was Philip John Smith."

Mr Raggatt said Miss Hyde was a vulnerable individual who had drug problems.

He told the court she was befriended by Mr Smith in the Rainbow pub in Digbeth, Birmingham.

After taking her to a hospital appointment in Birmingham, Mr Raggett told the court that Miss Hyde was probably killed at his flat.


He said her naked body was bundled into the back of Mr Smith's Volvo car and driven to open land at Ackers Trust, an adventure play area in Birmingham.

Mr Smith wrapped the body in a blanket and bound with a green rope, the court was told.

Her body had received 60% burns and had to be identified by her fingerprints, the jury heard.

Mr Raggatt added: "Clearly her killer had gone to great lengths to remove all trace of her.

"To mutilate her and leave her in such a way that the discovery of her identity would be impeded by a maximum degree. That killer was Philip Smith."

The jury also heard that Mr Smith had beaten Miss Corcoran with such ferocity that she was physically unrecognisable.

Mr Raggatt said: "He literally shattered her face.

"She was so badly disfigured that identification of her body was only possible through fingerprints and dental records after her jaw was put back together."

He added that Mrs Jordan, a care worker, had been knocked down by Mr Smith as she walked to work.

He said: "It was a serious accident, the police were bound to attend ... Carol Jordan had to die and she did die."

The trial continues.

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