Page last updated at 18:04 GMT, Monday, 10 May 2010 19:04 UK

Client 'strangled woman' at her own flat in Brighton

Andrea Waddell
Andrea Waddell was strangled in her flat in Upper Lewes Road

A woman who was working as a prostitute was strangled in her home in Brighton by a client while he was "worked up and angry", a court has heard.

Satellite installer Neil McMillan, 42, "applied unremitting pressure" to the neck of Andrea Waddell, 29, for about 20 seconds, Lewes Crown Court was told.

He allegedly set fire to her flat in Upper Lewes Road, then went to his home to shower and wash his clothes.

Mr McMillan, of Bennett Road, Brighton denies murder.

Prosecutor Simon Russell Flint told jurors that Mr McMillan arrived at Ms Waddell's one-bedroom, first floor flat at about 2230 BST on 15 October last year.

He had drunk about seven pints of beer over the previous four hours.

Parting words

In a taxi on the way to the flat he swore to the driver.

"We suggest he was worked up and angry," said Mr Russell Flint.

"It was in that mood, with those parting words, that he went up the stairs to Andrea Waddell's flat and within an hour she was dead."

He said it was most likely that Ms Waddell was strangled with Mr McMillan's own hands or by a broad ligature placed round her neck.

"This is a case about the murder of an unarmed, defenceless young woman in her own home in the middle of the night," said Mr Russell Flint.

Neil McMillan
Neil McMillan is said to have strangled Ms Waddell and set fire to her flat

When Mr McMillan was arrested two days after the killing, he was found to have various marks on his body, including scratches to his arm.

The members of the jury were told it was for them to decide whether the injuries were sustained during the death of Ms Waddell or during his work as a satellite installer.

Mr Flint said Ms Waddell's body was found lying on her bedroom floor at a 45 degree angle on her back with her arms and legs raised up in the air.

It is claimed that Mr McMillan, who admits visiting Ms Waddell for sex, torched an area around her body and a second part of her room before fleeing.

Neighbours who heard a smoke alarm sounding from her flat raised the alarm and her body was found by firefighters.

Following her death, Ms Waddell's family revealed that she was born Alexander John, but underwent gender reassignment surgery while studying for a Master's degree at the University of Sussex.

The case continues.

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