Kim Arnold, 37, the girl friend of the accused, Scott Singleton, told the court she found the tape with aircraft noises and references to 'Flight 101' at his house last Tuesday. Two days later the police seized it. 'That was when I decided I didn't want to be a defence witness any more,' she said.
Mr Singleton mentions Flight 101 several times on the tape and appears to be asking for clearance to take off. 'Papa 101 to control, please give me a routing to JFK beacon and I will veer off to Le Touquet in France,' he said.
Singleton, 36, of Broadfield, Crawley, West Sussex, denies murdering Lynne Rogers, 17, of Catford, south-east London, between 4 and 7 September 1991. She was killed after arranging to meet a man at Charing Cross station in London who had offered her a job stewarding executive flights, with a salary of pounds 14,000.
Five days later Miss Rogers' body was discovered in brambles off a country lane in Rotherfield, East Sussex. She had not been sexually assaulted.
The prosecution alleges that Mr Singleton rang Miss Rogers' house four times, claiming to be an executive with a travel company. Her sister Suzanne, 20, spoke to the man and heard aircraft noises in the background. At one point the man said: 'Flight 101 prepare to take off.'
Mrs Arnold, of Catford, south- east London, admitted that she did not want to give the tape to the police and instead had approached someone with the tape who then informed the police. But she refused to name the person. 'No comment, I do not want to answer that question.'
Michael Mansfield QC, for the defence, said the tape had been stolen from Mr Singleton's bag three years ago. Mrs Arnold said: 'Utter rubbish.' She added: 'I found that tape in his house in his bedroom. You are trying to suggest I took the tape.'
Detective Superintendent Michael Bennison, who led the murder inquiry, told the court Mr Singleton's house was searched by four officers on 28 September 1991, the day of his arrest. They found videos and records, as well as photographs of Mr Singleton in ladies' underwear. 'My instructions were fairly specific that we needed any evidence relating to Flight 101,' he said.
The trial was adjourned until today.