Trial begins of man accused of murdering Lorraine Cox in Exeter

A man accused of murdering a woman in Exeter, cutting up and dumping her body, looked at online amputation information while she lay dead in his room, a jury has been told.

The trial of Azam Mangori, aged 24, of Mary Arches Street, Exeter – also known as Christopher Mayer – began on Tuesday (March 2) at Exeter Crown Court.

Mangori, originally from the Kurdish area of Iraq, denies murdering Lorraine Cox in the early hours of September 1, 2020.

He has pleaded guilty to preventing the lawful burial of her body.

Simon Laws, prosecuting, said: “She had been out with friends in the evening. It was Bank Holiday Monday at the end of August.

“At about 1.30 in the morning she had set off to walk home alone. She had had quite a lot to drink.

“Her whereabouts were a mystery to her family and friends for the next week. No-one knew where she was. The answer was that she had been killed by this defendant.

“She had had the great misfortune to be spotted by him when she was walking home. He was out walking the streets alone. He went up to her. They had never met one-another before.

“He took advantage of her drunken state, having a sexual encounter with her in an alleyway of Sidwell Street.

“He then led her back to his room above a kebab shop in the city centre and he killed her there.

“He cut her body up into seven pieces and disposed of them and mutilated the body in other ways.

“He disposed of her clothing and all her possessions she had with her.

“And he took the SIM card from her phone and pretended to be her, to pretend to the world that she was still alive.”

The jury was told mobile phone records show Mangori looked at internet pages of anatomical drawings of the leg and above-knee amputation in the days before he met Miss Cox.

Some of the material – relating to the structure of the leg and amputation, and an anatomical drawing of the knee and lower leg – had been viewed by Mangori as Miss Cox lay dead in his room above the Bodrum kebab shop, the jury was told.

Mangori ‘kept himself to himself’ and was only on ‘nodding terms’ with other people living there. He did not work at the kebab shop, the prosecution said.

The court heard loner Mangori sent messages to Miss Cox’s family and friends, using her phone SIM card, pretending to be her.

Mr Laws told the jury Mangori kept Miss Cox’s body in his room for several days, finally disposing of the last parts a week later, on September 8, 2020.

The court was told Mangori targeted Miss Cox, and ‘homed in on her’ in the early hours of  September 1, 2020.

He spotted her in the city centre and followed her as she walked home alone after a night out.

Mr Laws said Miss Cox set off to go home ‘very drunk’ after spending the Bank Holiday Monday out with friends.

The court heard Miss Cox told friends she had taken cocaine from a man she met while drinking at Exeter Quay.

Miss Cox had planned to stay with a female friend that night, but got separated after the woman had an argument with someone at the Arcade pub, in Fore Street, and went home.

The jury was told Mangori had been in the city centre alone after two unsuccessful attempts by the defendant to meet with a male and female escort.

CCTV footage showed Mangori follow then approach Miss Cox in the High Street, before the pair walk off together.

The court heard they had a sexual encounter in an alleyway in Sidwell Street, which Mangori recorded the audio of on his phone.

Afterwards, Mangori was captured on CCTV supporting Miss Cox, who was ‘having trouble walking and standing’, taking her back to his room above the kebab shop in Mary Arches Street.

Mr Laws said: “No-one, apart from the defendant, would see Lorraine Cox alive again.

“She would never leave the Bodrum building again. She would die in his bedroom within the next few hours. We do not know exactly how he killed her.”

Mr Laws told the court how Mangori went to ‘an enormous effort’ posing as Miss Cox after her death.

He used her phone telling friends she was fine and planning to spend time in Plymouth, in what Mr Laws described as a ‘cruel deception’ of her loved-ones.

Mangori sent a middle finger emoji from Miss Cox’s phone when her partner, Elise Fallow, in Scotland, became concerned for her welfare.

When Miss Fallow replied, ‘Just answer or call me’ the defendant, answering as Miss Cox, replied, ‘I am busy at the moment, just text me’.

Mr Laws said Mangori used ‘true attention to detail’ impersonating Miss Cox, and had ‘done his homework’.

Mangori had read other texts sent by Miss Cox and used similar phrases to impersonate her convincingly, the court was told.

The trial continues.

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