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Girl killed 'after being lured to bogus interview'

A TEENAGE girl who was strangled after being lured to a bogus job interview may have been stalked by her murderer, Lewes Crown Court heard yesterday.

Scott Singleton, 36, of Broadfield, Crawley, West Sussex, denies murdering Lynne Rogers, 17, of Catford, south-east London, between 4 and 7 September 1991.

Robert Seabrook QC, for the prosecution, told the court that Mr Singleton knew Miss Rogers by sight and was excited by the idea of entrapping her. His girlfriend's home was near Miss Rogers' and it was possible he had stalked her, he said.

He added that Mr Singleton may have had a 'misguided idea he might have some sexual satisfaction if he could get her under his control'.

Miss Rogers was killed after arranging to meet a man for a job interview at Charing Cross station on 4 September. Five days later her body was discovered hidden in brambles off a country lane in Rotherfield, East Sussex. She had not been sexually assaulted.

After being made redundant from her post with a firm of investment brokers in July, Miss Rogers had sent her curriculum vitae, which included her address and telephone number, to more than 100 job agencies. Mr Seabrook said one of her CVs had been sent to Africa Hinterland, a travel company at the Greenwich Business Centre. Mr Singleton, who had a car paint spraying company at the centre took her CV from the communal post box.

Mr Seabrook alleged that Mr Singleton rang Miss Rogers' house four times claiming to be an executive with a travel company. He said he wanted to interview her for a job stewarding executive flights with a salary of pounds 14,000. They arranged to meet at Charing Cross station.

'Her father and boyfriend both voiced concern about this rendezvous. But she was excited by the prospects of what appeared to be a new job,' Mr Seabrook said.

Miss Rogers promised to ring both of them by midday. By 10.30pm Mr Rogers had not heard from his daughter. He then phoned the police. Mr Seabrook told the court that several hours after this meeting Miss Rogers was dead. A taxi-driver, struck by her smart appearance, had seen her getting into a blue Vauxhall Carlton, he said.

'We do not know how long the pretence was kept up of the genuine job offer, a period during which it must have slowly dawned on Lynne that she was trapped.' She may have rejected his 'outrageous advances' and, resisting him, was smothered and strangled, he said.

Her body had bruising to the forehead, probably caused by a stunning blow, and grip marks on her neck and arms, he said.

Mr Singleton's car had been sighted by a farmer at Rotherfield within a quarter of a mile of where Miss Rogers' body was discovered. But he told the police he had never been to Rotherfield, said Mr Seabrook.

Although Mr Seabrook said he did not know where Miss Rogers had been killed, he said there was 'extensive' forensic evidence against Mr Singleton. Miss Rogers had been bitten on her chin, 'possibly by someone trying to kiss her or keep her still', and a forensic dentist would say that the toothmarks bore 'a remarkably significant correlation' with Mr Singleton's upper teeth, taken from a cast for a set of dentures he had had made, Mr Seabrook said.

Black carpet fibres found on some of Miss Rogers' clothing matched similar fibres discovered at Mr Singleton's home, on the passenger seat of his car and on clothing at the home of his girlfriend, Kim Arnold, in Catford.

'This evidence inescapably points to this man's guilt' said Mr Seabrook.

The hearing was adjourned until today.