Carer 'murdered and dismembered paralysed former boxing champion Shaun Cummins, before using his credit cards on £25,000 shopping binge'

Thomas Dunkley accused of using former WBA light-middleweight champion’s own credit cards to purchase a chainsaw he used to dismember him
  • @johnmatthewhall

A former boxing champion left paralysed after a motorcycle crash was murdered and dismembered by his carer, who later used the man’s credit cards for a £25,000 shopping binge, a court has heard.

Thomas Dunkley allegedly murdered 35-year-old Shaun Cummins in his Leicester bungalow, before cutting up the body, placing the parts in bin bags sealed with duct tape and storing them in a freezer.

When the 29-year-old ran out of space to store the body parts, he used the former WBA light-middleweight champion’s own credit cards to buy a second freezer from Comet, having allegedly previously used them to buy a chainsaw, gloves, mask, overalls and goggles. He is also accused of placing a deposit on a Vauxhall car.

Mr Cummins’ remains were discovered by police called to the home by community nurses who had been due to care for the former boxer. Mr Cummins, who retired from the sport in 1995, had been left paralysed by a motorcycle accident in 2004.

Dunkley, who was described in court as Mr Cummins’ “informal carer”, denies murder but admits dismembering the body and preventing burial, prosecutor William Harbage said.

Mr Harbage told the court: “The prosecution say, having killed Shaun Cummins, he left the body where it was for a few days… It started to decompose and smell. Dunkley embarked on a plan to try and cover up what he'd done in a callous and deliberate way.’

Mr Harbage told the court that Dunkley used the former boxer's credit cards to buy a chainsaw, gloves, a mask, overalls and goggles. “He set about the grisly task of dismembering the body,” he said.

Speaking about Mr Cummins’ remains being found in sealed bin bags placed in a freezer, Mr Harbage asked the jury: “Who does that? Who goes to those extremes, unless he's responsible for the killing?”

Mr Harbage went on “There is an overwhelming inference from the evidence that the defendant murdered Shaun Cummins... His calculative and deceptive behaviour prevented the discovery of the body.“

He added: “Rather than call 999, or notify a doctor, he panicked and chopped him up with a chain saw. His actions were intended to mask the true cause of death… He knew the deceased had substantial funds still at his disposal, none of this money had yet come his way.“

Dunkley has admitted four charges of fraud relating to using Cummins' credit cards after his death, as well as cashing cheques from a trust fund.

The trial continues.