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Last Updated: Tuesday, 3 February, 2004, 17:13 GMT
Teacher death jury is sent home
Jane Longhurst taught music at a Brighton special needs school
The jury in the trial of a musician accused of strangling a school teacher and storing her body, has been sent home for a second night.

Graham Coutts, 35, of Waterloo Street, Hove, denies murdering Jane Longhurst, 31, in March last year.

He says the Brighton teacher died during consensual asphyxial sex.

Jurors retired on Monday to consider their verdict after Judge Richard Brown told them to take a "cold, hard, calculated look" at the case.

Fetish for necks

The jurors at Lewes Crown Court spent 90 minutes deliberating on the case before Judge Brown sent them home on Monday night.

They continued to discuss their verdict throughout Tuesday.

The prosecution alleges Mr Coutts strangled the special needs teacher to satisfy a "macabre fantasy".

The defendant has admitted a fetish for women's necks and said Miss Longhurst consented to asphyxial sex at his flat on 14 March 2003.

He admitted that she died during sex with him, but has claimed her death was an accident during a game, in which he had intended to temporarily cut off her breath.

He has admitted storing her body in a box for 35 days before setting it alight in woodland in West Sussex on 19 April.

Mr Coutts denies murdering Miss Longhurst between 13 March and 19 April last year.

The jury will resume its deliberations on Wednesday morning.




SEE ALSO:
Teacher's death 'was no accident'
29 Jan 04  |  Southern Counties
Teacher 'died in seconds'
28 Jan 04  |  Southern Counties
Teacher 'had tried sex games'
27 Jan 04  |  Southern Counties
Murder accused speaks of 'neck fetish'
23 Jan 04  |  Southern Counties
Partners called in teacher trial
21 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


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