India Chipchase murder: Edward Tenniswood found guilty of raping and murdering barmaid in Northampton

Man claims death resulted from his 'over-eagerness' in bed

Samuel Osborne
Tuesday 02 August 2016 12:04
CCTV shows India Chipchase's last moments and Tenniswood being arrested

A former bookkeeper has been found guilty of murdering a barmaid, who he raped and strangled after finding her in a drunken state outside a nightclub in Northampton.

Edward Tenniswood claimed he had consensual sex with India Chipchase and that her death in his Northampton home in the early hours of 30 January was a result of his "over-eagerness" in bed.

He had promised to "get her home safe" after finding her outside the club, but instead he raped and strangled her, leaving her with more than 30 injuries.

Tenniswood has been sentenced to life in prison with a minimum term of 30 years.

Undated handout photo issued by Northamptonshire Police of Edward Tenniswood, 52, who has been found guilty at Birmingham Crown Court of murdering 20-year-old India Chipchase

After killing the woman, 52-year-old Tenniswood told the jury he "cuddled up" to her lifeless body and then sat and drank in a hotel bar for 22 hours until the police came to arrest him.

When police smashed down the door of his house, having traced Ms Chipchase's mobile to the address, they found her fully-clothed body lying on a mattress in a dimly-lit upstairs bedroom.

A sheet was drawn up to her chin and her long black hair had been arranged by Tenniswood in what police described as a "halo", near a book left open on a page showing romantic images of scantily-clad women.

She had 33 separate injuries on her body including evidence of blunt force trauma to her head and bruising to both hips.

Undated handout still from CCTV footage issued by Northamptonshire Police of Edward Tenniswood talking to India Chipchase outside NB's nightclub in Northampton

During his testimony, he claimed Ms Chipchase had a drunken fall and banged her head, but moments later "passionately" kissed Tenniswood and later had "loving" sex with him.

He spoke of how he and his victim "just clicked" - snapping his fingers for effect in the witness box.

He drew a gasp from relatives in the public gallery when referring with familiarity to Ms Chipchase - a woman he had known only a few drunken hours at most - as "sweet", calling her behaviour "very India".

At his home, he raped his victim with her clothes on and then "squeezed the life" out of her, the prosecution said.

In his account, Tenniswood said the "kinky" idea to strangle Ms Chipchase had been at her direction and her death was an accident.

He claimed: "I, in my over-eagerness to please her, either sustained the pressure just too long or just gripped too tightly."

However, there were signs of a struggle and Tenniswood's blood was found under his victim's fingernail while scratches were found on his neck and arm.

Tenniswood also invented an account of how he and Ms Chipchase had shared lovers' "smiles" in his grim home and posed together "like a selfie" in an upstairs mirror.

Later, Tenniswood told jurors: "I could easily have fallen in love with her."

A Birmingham Crown Court jury took an hour and 45 minutes to convict Tenniswood of rape and murder after a two-week trial.

Additional reporting by agencies