Fleckney murder trial: Man 'raped and smothered 72-year-old woman'

Jane Hings

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Jane Hings was found dead by two carers at her home in Fleckney

A man raped and murdered a 72-year-old woman by smothering her with a pillow, a court has heard.

Craig Keogh, 27, is also accused of stealing jewellery and cash from Jane Hings’ home and using it to buy a carvery and rounds of drinks.

Birmingham Crown Court heard he attacked Ms Hings at her bungalow in Fleckney, Leicestershire, after a night out when he had been taking cocaine.

Mr Keogh, of no fixed address, denies all of the charges.

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Prosecutor Mary Prior said Mr Keogh went to Ms Hings’ home in the early hours of 24 September and she was later found dead by two carers.

Mr Keogh’s DNA was found on her body and a tongue bar found at the scene, the jury was told.

The court heard the night before he had been verbally aggressive and told people he was on cocaine.

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Facebook/Craig Keogh

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Craig Keogh, 27, is accused of raping and killing Jane Hings

The court heard after Ms Hings’s death, Mr Keogh bought a new tongue bar, having told a friend he had swallowed his piercing.

Ms Prior told the court Mr Keogh asked the friend to sell some jewellery on his behalf, which he did for £105.

This jewellery was later identified as belonging to Ms Hings by her friends.

Jurors were told Mr Keogh paid for a carvery meal at a pub for them both and a round of drinks for friends.

He said he had found £200 in a bag in Leicester city centre, Ms Prior said.

The prosecution claim he took this money from Ms Hings’ handbag, which he allegedly stole after killing her.

“Throughout the day the defendant was described as being happy and laughing,” said Ms Prior.

Image caption

Jane Hings was raped and killed at her home in Fleckney

Giving evidence, Christopher Murphy, kitchen manager at the Oadby Owl pub, said Mr Keogh had offered to sell him cocaine on 23 September.

Mr Murphy said he warned Mr Keogh that it was their right to inform police if anyone on the premises had drugs.

He told the court they warned him again that they would call police, but Mr Keogh responded by saying: “I’m from Fleckney – I’ve seen a man get shanked.”

Mr Murphy said he understood “shank” to mean “stab”.

“I believe his words were ‘I have a piece’ which I took as a weapon,” Mr Murphy added.

Mr Keogh is with Ms Hings’s murder, two counts of rape and one count of burglary.

The trial continues.

To discuss an East Midlands story idea, contact caroline.lowbridge@bbc.co.uk.

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