Man guilty of murdering girlfriend

 

A violent and obsessed boyfriend was found guilty today of murdering his aspiring model girlfriend in a jealous rage.

Wealthy jeweller's son Elliot Turner, 20, strangled 17-year-old Emily Longley in his bed after going "absolutely nuts" in a culmination of a month of anger and upset over his suspicions she was "twisting his heart" by seeing other men.

His parents Leigh, 54, and Anita, 51, helped cover up the crime by destroying a confession letter from their son and taking away vital evidence after the killing at their home in Bournemouth, Dorset in May last year.

The pair were convicted by a majority of 10 to 2 of perverting the course of justice - a charge that Elliot Turner had admitted during the four-week trial at Winchester Crown Court.

Turner mouthed the word "f***" after the jury foreman gave the verdict following nine hours of deliberations.

There were cries from the public gallery where Emily's family were sitting.

Turner was being sentenced this afternoon.

His parents were bailed for sentence at a date to be fixed but told they were likely to face jail.

Turner was well known in the local bar and club scene in the Bournemouth and Poole areas and was part of a gang of rich young men called The Firm.

Called by his friends All-Talk Turner because of his boasting, he met Emily in December 2010.

The pair enjoyed the high-life around the resort, partying late in to the night and drinking £180 bottles of Grey Goose vodka often with other members of The Firm.

But Turner, who had a history of obsession with women, soon showed signs of jealousy and the short volatile relationship quickly descended into violent arguments with Turner threatening to kill his girlfriend on an almost daily basis.

He was described in court by the prosecution as showing himself to be "threatening, aggressive, violent, controlling and possessive towards Emily Longley".

Emily went back to Auckland, New Zealand, to see her parents in April and Turner was incensed by Facebook pictures of her with ex-boyfriends and other men.

She had suffered from abusive relationships back home in New Zealand and had emotional problems and was vulnerable.

When Emily returned she wanted out of the relationship and she slept with his best friend Luke Ashford after an argument triggered by Turner's obsession.

In the days before her death, Turner accessed her phone and Facebook accounts and learnt she was arranging to meet men.

He went to one club in Bournemouth and armed himself with a lump hammer to confront them when he learned she was out with another man.

He had driven there in his black Mini Cooper and was hitting the steering wheel in anger witnesses said. This was even though he admitted he had slept with three women during the relationship.

That night he didn't find Emily but he warned the other suitor, Louis Powell, that she was his girlfriend and to back off. Crying, he then told friends he had killed Emily with the hammer and dumped her in bushes before then saying it was a joke.

The day before he murdered her he asked his impressionable friend Tom Crowe how he should kill Emily as his obsession started to reach a crescendo.

They even discussed setting her on fire in his bedroom using petrol and strangling her and the pair even practised strangle holds.

On the night of May 6 Turner thought he had patched up his relationship with Emily and they were boyfriend and girlfriend again.

But she wanted out and Turner was angry when he met up with her and saw she was dressed in very short shorts, a leopard print bra and small waist coat.

He said she was dressed like a whore and he continued to argue with her in a bar called Cafe Shore.

Finally a fed up Emily threw drinks over him and he attacked her before later that night she fatally agreed to go back to his house in the affluent Queen's Park area of Bournemouth to talk things over.

This was despite Emily texting Turner to say: "Hit me with a mallet? Do what ever you want to me - I will never get back with you. I actually hate you."

Tom Crowe was the last person to see her alive other than her killer. He told the court that Turner asked him to kill Emily using the lump hammer but he told him to f*** off.

The last thing he saw was Emily trying to lock Turner out of his own house, but the 13-stone man overpowered her and they went inside.

A neighbour had walked by and Mr Crowe presciently told him he thought Turner would kill Emily.

The prosecution said that Turner used a pillow to smother Emily and then he strangled her using a sleeper hold.

Forensics found the teenager's "face mask" of make up on the pillow and Emily's make up was also on Turner's shirt.

But Turner stuck to the story he told police and paramedics when they were called to the house on the morning of May 8 that Emily had repeatedly attacked him and he defended himself.

In the witness box, Turner said that he grabbed Emily by the neck for five or six seconds and then pressed down on her as she lay on the bed to stop the attack.

He then stormed out of the bedroom and came back, got in to bed and woke up to find her dead.

He said he had loved her and she had loved him and had only wanted the best for her and he denied murdering her.

When arrested at the scene he had his passport in his pocket and his bags packed, the court heard.

Police were suspicious from the start because of Turner's threats to Emily but there was no conclusive cause of death except for tell-tale haemorrhages under her eyelids that were consistent with neck compression.

Detectives decided to bug the family's £350,000 home and discovered that his doting parents had helped cover up their son's crime.

Highly incriminating tapes played to the jury told how Leigh Turner had destroyed his son's "confession".

During one discussion when Anita Turner refused to believe her son had done anything wrong, an exasperated Leigh Turner said "He (Elliot) f****** strangled her".

Turner himself was heard to say: "I just flipped. I went absolutely nuts...I just lost it. I grabbed her as hard as I could. I pushed her like that."

He was heard calling Emily a "f****** bitch" and talking about the "f****** anger" that had built up in him over her.

Leigh Turner said: "We have perverted the course of justice by destroying evidence."

But Anita Turner was heard to say they had been right to do it.

They also discussed changing Anita's story about the delay in calling the ambulance. Anita had called Leigh first and there had been an hour delay in calling paramedics while calls went to and fro between the family.

Anita admitted that she took a jacket from Elliot Turner's bedroom but that she didn't think it was wrong. The prosecution said police were distracted by her husband and the confession letter was in the coat.

Police also examined Turner's computer and found searches about death by strangulation.

Emily had been born in Britain but her family had emigrated when she was nine. She had returned to live with her grandparents Ronald and Zosia Longley in a large detached cottage near the seafront in Southbourne, near Bournemouth, to study for a business national diploma at Brockenhurst College in Hampshire. She also worked part-time at Top Shop in Bournemouth.

Her divorced parents Mark and Caroline flew over from New Zealand and attended court every day to find out what happened to their daughter.

The case was adjourned until tomorrow when Turner will be told the minmum term he will serve of his life sentence.

PA

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