Rugby murder trial: ‘He was the person who struck the savage blow’, court hears

Victim Shana Cover
Victim Shana Cover

Satellite navigation shows that two mobile phones taken from the flat of a murder victim three days after she was killed were both in the area where her estranged husband lived, a court heard.

Owen Williams’s wife Shana Cover was found a week after she was killed, slumped against the sofa in her flat in Morton Gardens, Rugby.

A jury was told her neck was “almost completely severed” and that a knife with a 25-centimetre blade was found in Williams’s garage, which had the blood of Ms Cover on it.

Williams, aged 50, of Grizedale, Brownsover, pleaded not guilty at Warwick Crown Court to murdering 34-year-old Ms Cover on August 14.

Prosecutor Peter Grieves-Smith said the mobiles were taken from Ms Cover’s flat and Global Positioning System data showed they were then both in the area where Williams lived.

Mr Grieves-Smith said: “Was that just another coincidence? The prosecution say he was the person who struck the savage blow that killed Shana.”

The court was told that keys to the flat were also taken and there was no evidence her killer had forced entry.

Mr Grieves-Smith said boots taken from Williams’s place of work as a chef at the Bell and Barge Harvester in Leicester Road were those the prosecution say CCTV cameras show him wearing in stores in Rugby on the day of the killing.

It was alleged that after leaving the town centre there was a ‘‘missing hour’’ of CCTV coverage of his car, during which he went to Ms Cover’s flat and killed her before going home.

His left boot had dilute blood staining on the surface of the tongue and on the welt and by the heel of the other “small airborne spots of blood”.

There were also small areas of bloodstaining on the welt, the sole and in the stitching close to the lace – and samples of the blood matched the DNA profile of Ms Cover.

“The conclusion of the expert is that the wearer of the boots has been in close proximity to the deceased’s airborne blood. It’s what he would expect if the boots had been worn during the incident which resulted in the death of Shana Cover,” said Mr Grieves-Smith.

In Williams’s BMW the police found an air freshener hanging by the gear stick.

“The expert concludes that a considerable amount of wet blood had been in contact with it,” said Mr Grieves-Smith.

Mr Grieves-Smith said Williams’s fingerprints were found on the exterior of the window closest to the entrance to Ms Cover’s flat, as well as in various places inside.

And his footprints were found on the glass top of a table which had been dislodged and was on the floor in the lounge when police found the body.

Mr Grieves-Smith said: “One issue is why is his footwear mark on that glass table top?” And he added that footmarks in the bathroom suggested Williams had been standing at the sink.

The trial continues.