Forensic claims Shana Cover’s murderer ‘showered the blood off’ after attack in Rugby flat

Victim Shana Cover
Victim Shana Cover

The killer who attacked Rugby woman Shana Cover in her own home, almost completely severing her neck, showered the blood off themselves before leaving, a forensics expert believes.

And from blood found in her home, forensic scientist Christopher Lloyd described how she had been attacked before the fatal blows as she was slumped against the settee.

It is what I would expect if a bloodstained individual had washed in the bath or the shower

Forensic scientist Christopher Lloyd

Mr Lloyd was giving evidence at Warwick Crown Court in the trial of 34-year-old Shana’s estranged husband Owen Williams.

Williams, aged 50, of Grizedale, Brownsover, Rugby, has pleaded not guilty to murdering her in August last year.

It is believed Shana was killed on August 14, although her body was not found at her home in Morton Gardens until a week later.

Mr Lloyd, who attended Shana’s flat with a colleague on August 22, said that on the bathroom walls above the bath, the shower curtain, the shower control knob, the surface of the bath and the door, there was bloodstaining, ‘most of which is diluted with water.’

“It is what I would expect if a bloodstained individual had washed in the bath or the shower, the blood becomes dilute as a result of washing and lands on nearby surfaces.”

DNA samples taken from the bathroom matched the DNA profile of Shana, and there were also traces of someone else’s DNA – but it was too small to carry out any meaningful analysis, and there was no DNA which could be attributed to Williams.

Of the whole scene in the flat, he told the jury: “There was nothing to indicate the assault had occurred anywhere other than in the living room, and I believe it is likely to have included an initial altercation while she was upright.

“A result of that was that she became injured and started to bleed. Many of the spots of blood on the floor and the walls are likely to have been deposited at that stage, particularly those further away from where she was found.

“Then the coffee table has become damaged after she has started to bleed.

“It is all evidence of a fight having taken place within that room, and at some point she has become incapacitated and fallen on the settee, where I believe the serious injuries were inflicted to her neck, and she has not moved beyond that.

“The spots of blood in the hallway are likely to have originated from the offender himself moving around afterwards or from the weapon.”

Mr Lloyd also examined a card air freshener which had been hanging from the gear stick in Williams’s BMW, and found quite heavy contact bloodstaining which matched Shana’s profile.

A knife with a 25cm blade found in Williams’s garage had visible traces of blood by the hilt and microscopic traces on the blade and handle, and a DNA profile from swabs of the knife matched Shana’s.

He also tested Williams’s boots, found at the Bell and Barge Harvester in Leicester Road, where he worked as a chef.

There was dilute blood on the inside of the tongue and to the welt. There was similar bloodstaining to the right boot, which also had ‘a blood-like stain’ to the heel and 1.4x1mm area of bloodstaining to the sole.

DNA tests on blood from both boots matched the profile of Shana Cover, and Mr Lloyd added: “In my opinion the wearer of these boots has been close to a source of airborne blood from Shana Cover. It would have been very close.”

The trial continues.