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Megan Bills: Murder accused 'left body to rot inside cling-film wrapped wardrobe'

Ashley Foster allegedly killed 17-year-old Megan Bills in a sick sex game at a Black Country hostel.

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The scene outside the hostel after Megan Bills' body had been found

The man accused of murdering 17-year-old Megan Bills and leaving her body ‘to rot’ in a wardrobe looked for ‘snuff’ videos on the internet, the jury was told.

Ashley Foster has given no explanation of how she died to the police, prosecution or the court but had given a version of events to his mother, alleged Mr Crispin Aylett QC, prosecuting at Wolverhampton Crown Court.

Seven days after the arrest of the 24-year-old, and following his first appearance at Dudley Magistrates Court, a prison custody officer discovered Foster’s charge sheet had been left in a secure cupboard where prisoner’s property is kept at the court.

It was wrapped around three pieces of paper that turned out to be letters written by the defendant to his sister and mother, explained Mr Aylett. They had Foster’s fingerprints on them

The note to his mother allegedly said: "I can’t stand the guilt any more. I didn’t mean to hurt her. I swear it was an accident but it was the accident which killed her.”

It continued: “I panicked. I didn’t think to call anyone or tell anyone. I panicked bad and stuffed her into the wardrobe but didn’t mean to kill her.

“We ended up having sex together. She tells me she likes to be strangled so I obliged. I strangled her and she loved it so much....but then as I released her, her eyes closed.

“I just thought she had passed out so I just left her on my bed and went to my sister’s thinking she would be okay.”

The note went on: “I ended up staying at my sister’s which wasn’t the plan and came home the next day expecting to find her gone but when I walked in she was still lying in the same place.

“First I panicked. I wasn’t thinking straight. I put her in the wardrobe and sealed it. I panicked more and more.

“Days and days passed, still panicking, still thinking. I tried to hide it by cling-filming it up like they do in films. But it didn’t work. I’m sorry for what I’ve done.”

Megan's body is carried into church at her funeral

Mr Aylett told the jury: “That Megan’s violent death must be related to some perverted sexual activity on the part of this defendant, which involves either actual death or the simulation of death, is borne out by the internet searches that he made in the days following Megan’s death.

“The defendant repeatedly looked for snuff videos – the type of film in which someone can actually be seen to be, or appeared to be, murdered.”

Foster was arrested after being spotted by two police officers walking through Walsall town centre on May 4 hours after the body had been found in his room at the hostel in Highgate Road, Brierley Hill, where he was staying after being released from prison.

It was discovered after the director of the company that runs it was told of the unpleasant smell in the room that had been blamed on the carpet by Foster the previous day.

This time it was entered when he was not present and those involved saw the wardrobe was covered from top to bottom in cling-film, which began to rip as they cut it with a butter knife, said Mr Aylett who continued: “As the doors of the wardrobe swung open it was obvious that there was something dead inside the wardrobe and it was wrapped in what turned out to be a curtain.”

They were overwhelmed by the smell and left to call the police, who asked what they thought was inside the wardrobe. They returned to check.

Mr Aylett explained: “When they opened the wardrobe doors a little further, they saw a human leg tumbling out.”

Police and paramedics arrived soon afterwards. Initially they were unable to tell the sex of the body but all the occupants were asked to leave as the hostel was turned into a crime scene.

Megan, who was four years old when put into foster care and aged seven when adopted, had not been reported missing.

She was living away from home but her adoptive parents became concerned when she did not visit them over Easter as expected. They reported her missing on May 5, the day after her body had been found.

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