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Salcombe Murder Trial: Victim told her alleged killer to sell house and "enjoy the money", saying "life is too short"

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Salcombe Murder Trial: Victim told her alleged killer to sell house and "enjoy the money", saying "life is too short"

A woman whose headless body was dumped in Salcombe had told her friend to sell her £4m house and "enjoy the money" because "life is too short" before that same friend allegedly murdered her for her money. 

Mee Kuen Chong, 67, known as Deborah, told her church friend Jemma Mitchell, 38, to sell her house, which was supposedly worth £4million, after changing her mind about helping her financially with refurbishing it. 

It is alleged that Mitchell later murdered her friend, stuffed her into a suitcase and forged a will, leaving the bulk of Ms Chong's estate to herself. 

The court heard that at the time of Ms Chong's death, Ms Mitchell was living with her mother at a family home in London, which needed repairing. It had no roof and was surrounded in scaffolding. 

It is thought that Ms Chong agreed to hand Ms Mitchell £200,000 to help with the renovations, but changed her mind. 

 

According to a BBC report, on Thursday, a statement from Ms Mitchell's mother Hilary Collard was read out in court:

Ms Collard said Ms Chong had "changed her mind" about putting £200,000 into her daughter's property project.

She said: "Deborah wanted to put some money into the house for her but decided against it so Jemma was just not talking to her any more."

A series of earlier messages in April between the two, read out in court, show Ms Chong was urging Ms Mitchell to sell up and enjoy the money, saying the house was worth £4m.

In a message, she said: "Sell it enjoy the money life is too short. Enjoy the moment."

In another message, she said: "More construction will cost more money you don't have."

Later on 8 June 2021, Ms Chong told Ms Mitchell: "Until you sold house I won't want you to come to me or my house. I'm stressed to the core."

 

The prosecution claim that Ms Chong, who had schizophrenia, was murdered on 11 June.

CCTV showed Ms Mitchell dragging a large blue suitcase through London after leaving Ms Chong's house. The prosecution alleges that that suitcase contained Ms Chong's dead body and she then hired a car and drove to Salcombe where she dumped Ms Chong's decapitated body on Bennett Road. A holidaymaker made the grim discovery the next day, on 26 June 2021. 

 

The trial continues. 

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