Decapitated body in Salcombe: Murder trial begins

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Decapitated body in Salcombe: Murder trial begins

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The murder trial of the woman accused of killing, decapitating and then disposing of her victim's body in Salcombe has begun.

Jemma Mitchell, 38, is accused of murdering 67-year-old Mee Kuen Chong and dumping her body in Salcombe after falling out over money in 2021.

According to a BBC report, present at the trial at the Old Bailey in London, Ms Mitchell was described as a "devout Christian" who murdered and decapitated her "church friend", before driving her body 200 miles to woods just off Bennett Road in Salcombe, where it was discovered on 27 June.

Ms Chong was reported missing from her home in Wembley, London, by her family on 11 June.

Ms Mitchell denies murder.

Opening Ms Mitchell's trial, Deanna Heer KC said: "It is the prosecution case that she assaulted and killed the deceased, and then transported her body to Salcombe in a large blue suitcase where she attempted to dispose of it in the woods."

The court heard that Ms Mitchell visited Ms Chong on the day she went missing and was seen on CCTV walking from Ms Chong's house with two suitcases.

"The larger of the two was obviously very heavy and difficult to manoeuvre. It is the prosecution case that it contained the body of Mee Kuen Chong," Ms Heer said.

She was also caught on CCTV travelling towards the area of woodland where Ms Chong's body was found by a woman on holiday, out for a walk with her family.

Ms Chong was found decapitated. Her head was discovered in undergrowth about 10m away, four days later.

Ms Chong's post-mortem showed signs of assault, a skull fracture, and blunt force trauma, but her cause of death could not be ascertained due to the amount of decomposition.

The BBC reports that Ms Mitchell had "studied osteopathy", and that her professional website said she was "attuned to subjects in neuroanatomy, genetics and dissection of human cadavers".

The court heard that Ms Mitchell has not worked since 2015 when she returned to the UK after spending seven years in Australia.
Ms Heer described Ms Mitchell as a "devout Christian" who met Ms Chong through the church, but they had recently fallen out over money after Ms Chong agreed to hand Ms Mitchell £200,000 to help with repairs to her mother's house, but had changed her mind.

Ms Chong was described as vulnerable and prone to erratic behaviour and had been referred to a community mental health team after sending letters to the then Prince Charles and Boris Johnson.

Ms Heer said "devout Christian" Ms Mitchell had "befriended the victim through church", but they "had recently fallen out over money".
Ms Mitchell denies murdering Ms Chong on a date between 10 and 27 June 10 last year.

The trial continues.


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