Bouncer ‘killed his girlfriend and drove round with her body for two days’

Claire O' Connor was found strangled and dumped in the boot of a car
Claire O’ Connor was found strangled and dumped in the boot of a car

A bouncer texted death threats to his girlfriend before strangling her to death and driving around with her body in the boot of a car for TWO DAYS – a court heard.

Aaron Mann, 32, is accused of killing attractive mum-of-four Claire O’ Connor, 38, in a brutal attack following a New Year’s Eve party.

Warwick Crown Court heard that Claire’s body was found wrapped in a sleeping bag in the boot of her Ford Focus in Nuneaton, Warks., on January 2 last year.

Jurors heard Mann dumped her body in the car and drove it around for two days before parking it outside his parents’ home and telling them what he had done.

Mann – who claimed ‘voices in his head’ told him to kill his lover – denies murder on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

He also denies an alternative charge of manslaughter.

Mark Wall QC, prosecuting, said the attack occurred on January 1 after the pair returned from local pub the Green Bear, near their home in Church Road, Nuneaton.

Mr Wall said: “They returned home at around 12.30am and Mann killed Claire by applying such force to her neck as to asphyxiate her. A pathologist found other injuries as a result of the attack, including a broken jaw and two broken ribs.

“There can be no doubt that what Mann did was a significant attack, which was intended to either kill her or cause her very serious injury.”

He added the pair’s relationship“had not run smooth” and that the previous spring Miss O’Connor had gone to the police to report violence and threats against her by Mann.

In an attack “significantly and chillingly similar to her death” he had tried to strangle her and had also sent her a number of texts, including one with the message “I will kill you” and another saying “You ain’t going to be around for long”.

Montana Walk in Nuneaton where the body of a Claire was found in a car
Montana Walk in Nuneaton where the body of a Claire was found in a car

Claire eventually withdrew the earlier complaint to attempt to make the relationship work, the court heard.

Psychiatrist Dr Raj Kumar Kamachi gave evidence about an interview he conducted with Mann at Nuneaton police station on the evening of January 2.

He said: “He told me that voices in his head had asked him to kill his girlfriend.

“He said they (Mann and Miss O’Connor) had gone to her house from the pub.

“He had had a few drinks and they started arguing and she was shouting at him. He heard voices commanding him to strangulate her and to put a pillow over her face.

“The voices told him to put her in the car boot and keep her there. He said he had done what the voices had asked him to do.”

The doctor said Mann had explained he had been hearing voices for six months and that sometimes they had been mocking him and telling him he was a loser.

When asked by Mr Wall QC for a conclusion about Mann’s behaviour, Dr Kamachi said: “In my opinion there are two options; he was having a psychotic episode or he was suffering from acute stress reaction with psychotic symptoms.

“This is something that can be triggered by a significant life event. Killing his girlfriend could have been the trigger.”


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