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Last Updated: Monday, 24 October 2005, 14:16 GMT 15:16 UK
Released convict 'killed walker'
Jacqueline Ross
Jacqueline Ross suffered more than a dozen injuries to her head
A dog walker was bludgeoned to death by a convicted criminal just three days after he was released from custody on licence, a court has heard.

Ben Redfern-Edwards, 21, from Disley, Cheshire, is accused of murdering Jacqueline Ross, 44, to stop her reporting him to police.

Chester Crown Court heard Mrs Ross was battered to death at a beauty spot on the Cheshire and Derbyshire border.

Mrs Ross suffered "horrific injuries" in the attack in January 2005.

Mr Redfern-Edwards had been released only a few days earlier from a young offenders' institution after serving just under two years for attempted armed robbery and possession of an imitation firearm.

Denies murder

Mrs Ross, a mother-of-two from New Mills, Derbyshire, was attacked as she went for a walk with her pet terrier Rosie along the Peak Forest Canal in Disley, on 30 January. She died nine days later in hospital.

The court heard that Mr Redfern-Edwards, allegedly confessed to his parents saying he had attacked a woman after her dog bit him.

He allegedly told them: "She wouldn't leave me alone and she started saying to me `I know who you are'.

"I had to hurt her. I hit her with a brick. I just kept hitting her."

Mr Redfern-Edwards denies murder and claims it was another man who killed Mrs Ross.

'Sexually-motivated'

The court heard that Mrs Ross, who ran a manicure and pedicure business called Precious Nails, was found only an hour after she left home.

The man who found her said that her face was covered in so much blood, he was initially unable to make out whether it was a man or woman.

Mrs Ross had suffered more than a dozen injuries to her head, her right thumb was crushed and almost completely severed and there were scratches and bruises to her thighs.

The prosecution claim the attack was sexually motivated although there was no evidence any sexual assault was actually carried out.

The case continues.


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