Page last updated at 19:51 GMT, Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Grave listed in accused's sat nav

Lukasz Reszpondek
Lukasz Reszpondek admits preventing the lawful burial of Ermatati Rodgers

A man who buried a female colleague's body on farmland put the location of the shallow grave in the "favourites" list on his sat nav, a court has heard.

Lukasz Reszpondek, 30, denies killing Indonesia-born Ermatati Rodgers, 41, whose body was found in March in a field at Erddig, near Wrexham.

Polish-born dairy worker Mr Reszpondek, a married father-of-two, admits preventing Ms Rodgers' lawful burial.

The murder trial continues at Mold Crown Court.

The court has heard that the defendant travelled to Wales in 2004 to look for work and met Ms Rodgers, who was known as Tati, at Dairycrest near Wrexham.

The prosecution alleges Mr Reszpondek strangled Ms Rodgers at his home in Rhostyllen, near Wrexham, in January 2008, before burying her body. The body was discovered 14 months later, in March this year.

Giving evidence on Tuesday, defendant said he had dug a trench exposing Ms Rodger's legs so that he could show police precisely where he had buried her, and then handed himself in to police.

Ermatati Rodgers
The body of Ermatati Rodgers was found buried on farmland

The court heard he was also concerned that the police excavations with heavy machinery would damage the body and might destroy evidence that might help him, because he had been unable to explain how Ms Rodgers died.

He said he had told the truth in the three days of police interviews that followed as there was no reason for him to lie any more.

When asked directly if he had murdered Ms Rodgers, he replied: "No. I did not murder her. I did not see any reason why I should do that."

The court heard that one reason he said he had not alerted police when he said he found Ms Rodgers dead in his living room, was that he did not want to lose his job.

Grave location

He agreed that at the time he had been selfish, thinking of himself, not of Ms Rodgers.

He spent that night on the sofa thinking what he should do, the court was told, and in the morning took the view that it was too late to ring the police as he would have to explain why he had not contacted them earlier.

The court was told he therefore decided to hide the body.

He picked a "quiet and nice place," the jury was told, but it was not easy to dig the grave and he may have been there for five or six hours.

When asked why he had not simply abandoned the body, he said: "I had not done anything wrong to her and did not see any reason to do anything wrong to her body."

He said that another reason his did not abandon the body was that his faith as a Roman Catholic meant bodies were usually buried.

'Blocked mind'

He agreed that he had put the location of the grave in his sat nav under "favourite" locations.

The defendant said that he had "a blocked mind" and tried to carry on as normal.

The court heard Mr Reszpondek returned to the grave many times, which he claimed was to pray.

Earlier on Tuesday, Mr Reszpondek told the jury he had not had a sexual relationship with Ms Rodgers.

He said on one occasion she had kissed him but he said he made it clear he did not want a relationship.

He admitted they could have been in bed together once after a party at his landlord's house but he said they never had sexual intercourse.

Asked about his semen found on Ms Rodgers's mattress, he said it got there when he slept in her bed with his wife when they were staying with Ms Rodgers while searching for a family home.

He said he moved to the UK looking for a normal life and he missed his wife until she joined him.

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