Lorraine Cox murder accused took taxi to dump body parts in woods, Exeter Crown Court jury is told

A man accused of murdering Lorraine Cox in Exeter put parts of her dismembered body in a sports hold-all then took a taxi to remote woodland to hide them, a court heard.

Jurors have been told Azam Mangori, aged 24, wrapped other pieces of Miss Cox’s remains in bin bags and dumped them in an alleyway.

Mangori, also known as Christopher Mayer, is standing trial at Exeter Crown Court where he denies murder.

He has admitted preventing the lawful burial of Miss Cox’s body.

The court has heard how Mangori ‘homed in’ on a drunken Miss Cox as she walked alone through Exeter city centre in the early hours of September 1, 2020.

He took her back to his room above a kebab shop in the city and is accused of killing her before methodically cutting up her body.

Jurors have been told how Mangori made repeated shopping trips over several days to buy items to dispose of Miss Cox’s remains.

The prosecution has also detailed how ‘fluent and determined liar’ Mangori used the dead woman’s phone SIM card and Facebook account to try and dupe her family and friends into believing she was safe and starting a new life in Plymouth.

He also researched amputation and the anatomy of the human leg on the internet in the days before he met Miss Cox, the court was told.

Police searching for 32-year-old Miss Cox found body parts wrapped in black bin bags in an alleyway behind the Bodrum Kebab House off Mary Arches Street.

Further decomposed remains were discovered under a pile of wood at Tinpit Hill 12 days after she had gone missing.

The trial heard how her T-shirt had been stuffed into her mouth.

Simon Laws QC, prosecuting, said Mangori may claim Miss Cox, a diabetic, died in his bedroom from a medical episode.

Mr Laws told the jury: “If this was medical episode, why didn’t he raise the alarm. Not at any stage did the defendant seek help for Lorraine, or raise the alarm in any way.

“Why, if that was the case, did he not dial 999 to get her some help. No call of that kind was made.

“Was it just chance that Lorraine’s life came to an end by some unlikely means and when it did, she just happened to be in company of this man?

“A man who didn’t only know how to disarticulate her body, but set about that dissection adding some gratuitous mutilation of his own. Is that just chance, do you suppose?

“Why was he looking at images of amputation and amputees, both before he met Lorraine and whilst her body was in his room?

“Why did he go to great lengths to cut up and hide her body? Why did he pretend to be her, and the false story that she was alive and well and her move to Plymouth?

“Why, when the police finally spoke to him, did he lie from start to finish that he knew nothing of her and that he hoped she was well?

“Why when he was given the opportunity to do so, over the course of several days, in his police interview, did he not offer this an explanation.

“Why did he push her T-shirt into her mouth?

“It says that all of his evidence shows he was her murderer.”

The court heard how Mangori disposed of Miss Cox’s possessions, including her rucksack and diabetic glucose monitor, in an attempt to cover his tracks. He also cut up and threw away her bank card and driving licence.

When the investigation led police to Mangori through CCTV, he tried to throw officers off the scent, telling them he had never met her.

Receipts showed Mangori shopped in Wilko and Argos to buy more than 30 black bags, rolls of tape, a heater, PVC film, a plastic dust sheet, an air purifier, a silver suitcase, a tower fan, moisture absorber and polythene roll.

He also bought a trowel from a hardware shop yards from his home.

Officers found Mangori had searched online ‘how to dig a grave by hand’ and viewed pictures of digging tools and excavated ground, the court heard.

And the jury was told that, ten days before meeting Miss Cox, he bought a Kitchen Devil knife.

Mr Laws said: “Both before and after the murder he bought a range of items to dispose of Lorraine Cox’s body.

“On the 21stof August he had been to Adams Home Hardware and he had bought a Kitchen Devil knife there and two other items.

“That one was one of the knives he would use to cut up her body.”

The court heard that, on the day of his arrest on September 8, Mangori had taken a taxi from Exeter to Tinpit Hill, a wooded hamlet near Newton St Cyres.

The jury was told he was carrying a large blue and red sports hold-all which contained body parts.

The remains were found by a police dog during a search of the area on 11 September, with the bag located nearby.

Mr Laws said Mangori had looked at internet pages of anatomical drawings of the leg and above-knee amputation in the days before he met Miss Cox.

He added that some of the ‘highly unusual’ material had also been viewed as Miss Cox lay dead in his room.

Mr Laws told the jury Mangori had been ‘neat and professional’ in his cutting up of the body and had done so ‘in a surgical fashion’.

“This process that he had undertaken, in the pathologist’s view, had a degree of anatomical knowledge or understanding,” said the prosecutor.

“They suggest he was someone that had an interest in amputation and he had that interest before the opportunity arose before him to display his skill.”

The court heard how Mangori had acted alone and no-one else had been involved.

Members of the jury were also told how the defendant went to ‘an enormous effort’ posing as Miss Cox after her death.

He read old texts sent by Miss Cox and mimicked her language to dupe friends and family into believing she was safe and alive.

Mangori told Miss Cox’s father she was in Plymouth and was going to change her phone number.

When a friend grew suspicious at the tone of the messages sent by Mangori in the guise of Miss Cox, she replied: “Send me a selfie or tell me something only you and me will know.”

Mr Laws said: “Later that day when it was clear he thought he had been rumbled he disposed of the SIM card that had been used by him in his phone.”

Miss Cox’s SIM card was later found by police in a drain in the alleyway off Mary Arches Street.

The trial at Exeter Crown Court continues…

Trial begins of man accused of murdering Lorraine Cox in Exeter

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