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Masks, axes and Chucky dolls: Inside the Black Country flat of horrors

Serial killer fan Nathan Maynard-Ellis lived in a Black Country flat filled with masks, reptiles, weapons and terrifying dolls.

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The model-making workbench inside the 'flat of horrors'

It was in this flat that Maynard-Ellis murdered Julia Rawson and dismembered her body with the help of his boyfriend David Leesley.

The couple later hid Ms Rawson's body parts in nearby woodland and a canal in Tipton.

Both men have now been jailed for life, with Maynard-Ellis ordered to spend at least 30 years behind bars and Leesley given a 19-year minimum term.

Maynard-Ellis, who behaved normally in the aftermath of the murder and visited a pub just hours later, was arrested 10 days after the killing when a sharp-eyed shop worker recognised him from a CCTV image distributed by detectives.

Nathan Maynard-Ellis arriving at the Bottle and Cork pub in Dudley

The images of Maynard-Ellis talking to Ms Rawson at Dudley's Bottle and Cork pub had been circulated as officers investigated what was originally a missing person inquiry.

It turned out that the CCTV images were actually showing the moment the murderer met his victim, shortly before luring 42-year-old Ms Rawson to his terrifying home.

Detective Inspector Colclough explained how important the breakthrough was for West Midlands Police, leading to Maynard-Ellis being stopped in Dudley town centre on May 22 last year.

"Nathan Maynard-Ellis was stopped by officers, spoken to and asked about what he knew of Julia's disappearance," Det Insp Colclough said.

"Those officers formed the opinion that it was definitely him that was on the CCTV from the Bottle and Cork.

"At that time he, and he alone, was arrested on suspicion of Julia's kidnap."

Nathan Maynard-Ellis, left, and David Leesley, right, have both been jailed
Some of the books inside the killers' flat

Det Insp Colclough added: "Maynard-Ellis's partner, David Leesley, provided a statement to the police saying Nathan couldn't have been responsible because he was actually back at their flat."

Serial killer obsessive Maynard-Ellis was then interviewed in relation to Julia's disappearance, denying that it was him on the CCTV and also claiming that an existing mental health condition meant he could not remember the weekend when Ms Rawson disappeared.

Meanwhile, a forensic examination started in the flat and Leesley was arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender.

During the search, detectives established that a new carpet had been fitted in the living room of the flat to hide a bloodstain matching the victim's DNA.

The blood stain found under the carpet

Within the flat there were also stuffed creatures on walls, face masks, a Chucky doll, reptiles in tanks and DVDs and books about serial killers.

Knives, saws, axes and other bladed articles were also found crammed in next to the horror memorabilia in the small flat in Mission Drive, Dudley Port.

"What's apparent is that on being killed Julia was taken into the bathroom and during the course of the rest of the evening she was dismembered," Det Insp Colclough continued.

"All murders are obviously very tragic events, not least for the families of the victims involved, but what's been particularly distressing about this investigation is that there were concerted efforts by both men to dispose of Julia's body parts.

"There was no consideration given to her family. She was desecrated, deposited with the intention that she would never be found.

Some of the dolls inside the flat

"For a family having to deal with the loss of a loved one to consider that another human being would try and hide and cover up their crime to the extent where they wouldn't be allowed to bury the person they love the most... it's a terrible thing to have to consider.

"But that's what these men did."

Ms Rawson's remains were discovered at two sites in Tipton where efforts were made to hide the body parts, said Mr Karim Khalil QC, prosecuting. There was also evidence of some burning.

One site was in a woodland located at the rear of playing fields belonging to Sacred Heart Primary School, on Sedgley Road East, while the other was on wasteland off Coneygree Road.

Following the killing, they carried on living their lives as normal.

The bin used to burn clothing

After around seven hours of deliberations the jury found both men guilty of murder, and they found Maynard-Ellis guilty of four counts of rape, one of attempted rape and making threats to kill relating to historical allegations made by a woman following his arrest.

Both defendants had admitted perverting the course of justice and concealing a body after the dismemberment of Ms Rawson's remains in May last year.

"Julia's family is really close-knit and really very private," Det Insp Colclough said. "It's clear Julia was a very talented artist, she was a good musician.

Julia Rawson

"She was a loving daughter and a loving sister. They are absolutely devastated by the whole trail of events that has taken place.

"I hope the result from court provides some form of closure at the very least for the family so that they can move on and carry their grief forward.

"It's been a terrible time and my heart really does go out to them."

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