Page last updated at 14:48 GMT, Tuesday, 5 August 2008 15:48 UK

Man denies transgender killing

Kellie Telesford
Kellie Telesford worked as a florist and a beautician

A teenager accused of killing a transgender woman he had become intimate with has said he did not know she was biologically still a man.

Shanniel Hyatt, 18, denies murdering 39-year-old Kellie Telesford at her flat in Thornton Heath.

The prosecution told the jury at the Old Bailey that Mr Hyatt, of Norbury, south London, robbed and murdered Ms Telesford in November 2007.

Ms Telesford had lived as a woman for several years.

'Strangled'

Prosecutor Sally O'Neill said: "It is the prosecution's case that this defendant Shanniel Hyatt went to the flat of Kellie Telesford having spent the evening with her.

"He strangled her, leaving at about 6am having stolen her possessions including her mobile telephone, her Oyster (travel) card and electronic equipment."

Had he known (about her gender) he would have left straight away. He denied he had found out and reacted badly to it and became violent as a result
Sally O'Neill
Prosecutor

The prosecution raised the theory that Mr Hyatt discovered Ms Telesford was biologically still a man during a sexual encounter and reacted violently.

When Mr Hyatt was arrested he told police Ms Telesford was "fit and well" when he left her flat in the early hours of 19 November 2007 and he had not even been aware she was biologically male at the time.

Ms O'Neill said: "He said he had only discovered that Kellie had been born a man about an hour before (the police interview).

"Had he known (about her gender) he would have left straight away. He denied he had found out and reacted badly to it and became violent as a result," she added.

Joanna Greenberg, defending, said the jury would need to consider whether Ms Telesford died during a sex game which went wrong as part of a consensual act, or that she may have inflicted the injury herself.

Ms Greenberg also noted there were no signs that Ms Telesford had fought back.

She said: "While we are referring to her as a female out of courtesy because that is how she wanted to be known. She was nevertheless a male with a man's strength and you would have thought that she, as a victim, would have fought her attacker but there was no signs."

The trial continues.




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