Accused killer of Julia Rawson alleged to have raped a second woman, trial hears

A horror film fan accused of murdering Dudley market trader Julia Rawson is alleged to have raped a second victim near a canal and threatened to kill her, a jury has heard.

Court artist sketch by Elizabeth Cook of David Leesley, left, and Nathan Maynard-Ellis appearing at Coventry Crown Court for the alleged murder of Julia Rawson
Court artist sketch by Elizabeth Cook of David Leesley, left, and Nathan Maynard-Ellis appearing at Coventry Crown Court for the alleged murder of Julia Rawson

Nathan Maynard-Ellis, 30, is alleged to have told the assault victim where he would hide her body if he killed her.

Coventry Crown Court was told that 42-year-old Julia Rawson was killed and dismembered after she was lured to a “flat of horrors” in Tipton in May last year.

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Prosecutors allege Maynard-Ellis and his boyfriend, 25-year-old David Leesley, walked along a canal near their flat to hide Ms Rawson’s body parts in undergrowth.

Both men deny murder, while Maynard-Ellis also denies counts of rape, attempted rape and making threats to kill relating to historical allegations made by a woman following his arrest last year.

In a video interview played to jurors yesterday, the complainant, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, said she was attacked while walking near a canal. She told police last year that Maynard-Ellis had pointed out a specific location near the waterway to her, telling an interviewing officer: “He said he wanted to show me something.

“He suddenly went from being calm...and said if he kills me that’s where he will put my body.”

Julia Rawson

The woman alleges that she was then raped by Maynard-Ellis, after he made her remove some of her clothing.

Opening the prosecution’s case, Crown counsel Karim Khalil QC urged jurors to act dispassionately given the “especially gruesome” allegations.

The court heard that Maynard-Ellis and Leesley were living at a flat in Mission Drive when Ms Rawson disappeared after travelling there in a taxi with the older defendant following a chance meeting in a pub. Jurors were told Maynard-Ellis admitted concealment of a corpse and perverting the course of justice by replacing bloodstained carpet and underlay at his flat.

Leesley has admitted the same charges, although he does not accept “any element of dismemberment”.

The trial continues.

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