Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education

Front Page



UK Politics







Talking Point

In Depth

On Air

Low Graphics

Friday, November 19, 1999 Published at 07:07 GMT


Murder jury hears dead girl's diary

A jury at the trial of a man accused of murdering a schoolgirl seven years ago has heard excerpts from her diary.

John Corcoran, 28, from Warren Park, Havant, near Portsmouth, denies killing 15-year-old Helen Gorrie, whose half-naked body was found in the grounds of Merchistoun Hall community centre in Horndean, Hampshire on 2 August 1992.

Helen disappeared from her home at about 11.30pm on 30 July after telling her brother she was going out for a few minutes.

She had been getting ready to go to bed and wore an all-in-one nightdress beneath her clothing.

[ image: The half-naked body of Helen Gorrie was found behind a community centre]
The half-naked body of Helen Gorrie was found behind a community centre
Winchester Crown Court heard that Mr Corcoran had been questioned by police a few days after the killing - scratches were found his arm but he said they had been inflicted by his girlfriend - but was released due to lack of evidence.

He was rearrested in May last year when new evidence came to light.

'Folding press position'

Anthony Davies QC, prosecuting, said Helen had been strangled and smothered with her own clothing.

Her jeans had been pulled down around her ankles and her legs were forced over the back of her head in the "folding press position," leaving button imprints on her chin and neck.

The jury was also told her jumper had been pulled up and pressed over her neck and mouth.

Mr Davies told the jury Mr Corcoran had met Helen the day before her death outside a nearby pub while "cruising" the area in his car.

The following day he telephoned the youngster to arrange a meeting, the court was told.

Mr Davies read out the last entry in Helen's diary, in which she wrote: "John 'phoned me up, the one I met last night. He wants me to go for a drive with him and his friends."

'Had time to commit murder'

Mr Corcoran had been driving in the area with friends on the evening of Helen's death but the prosecution say he left them for up to 40 minutes after saying he had to meet someone.

Mr Davies said: "We are concerned with the time, say the prosecution, that the defendant absented himself from his friends, so close to the scene.

"Corcoran cannot account for an appreciable length of time at around the time the Crown say Helen Gorrie was murdered. We say he had ample opportunity to commit this offence."

Mr Davies said the scratches on Mr Corcoran's arm had been made by Helen as she fought for her life and he said two false fingernails were found at the murder scene.

"This was a struggle of a girl who obviously by that stage appreciated the danger that she was in," said Mr Davies.

The trial continues.

Advanced options | Search tips

Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage |

UK Contents

Northern Ireland
In this section

Next steps for peace

Blairs' surprise over baby

Bowled over by Lord's

Beef row 'compromise' under fire

Hamilton 'would sell mother'

Industry misses new trains target

From Sport
Quins fightback shocks Cardiff

From Business
Vodafone takeover battle heats up

IRA ceasefire challenge rejected

Thousands celebrate Asian culture

From Sport
Christie could get two-year ban

From Entertainment
Colleagues remember Compo

Mother pleads for baby's return

Toys withdrawn in E.coli health scare

From Health
Nurses role set to expand

Israeli PM's plane in accident

More lottery cash for grassroots

Pro-lifers plan shock launch

Double killer gets life

From Health
Cold 'cure' comes one step closer

From UK Politics
Straw on trial over jury reform

Tatchell calls for rights probe into Mugabe

Ex-spy stays out in the cold

From UK Politics
Blair warns Livingstone

From Health
Smear equipment `misses cancers'

From Entertainment
Boyzone star gets in Christmas spirit

Fake bubbly warning

Murder jury hears dead girl's diary

From UK Politics
Germ warfare fiasco revealed

Blair babe triggers tabloid frenzy

Tourists shot by mistake

A new look for News Online