Bigamist husband 'killed Bournemouth nurse Rui Li for money'

Rui Li Image copyright Dorset Police
Image caption Nurse Rui Li had not been seen for more than a week when her body was found

A bigamist who ran a "sexual massage" service conspired with his first wife and son to kill his second wife for her life insurance policy, a court heard.

French national Pierre Legris, 61, is accused of killing Rui Li, 44, by hitting her over the head with a blunt implement at their Bournemouth home.

The Chinese national, who moved to the UK in 2003 and worked as a nurse, was found in the boot of a Fiat Punto car a week after going missing on 23 May.

Mr Legris denies murder.

Nigel Lickley QC, prosecuting, told Winchester Crown Court Pierre Legris, also known as Alain Baron, conspired to murder Ms Li with his other wife, Irene Smith, 66, and their son Jonathan Legris, 27.

He told the court the three had financial difficulties and Ms Li, who drove a Porsche Boxster, had a life insurance policy worth £300,000.

Mr Lickley said a massage service which also "on occasion" provided "sexual services" was run at a property owned by Ms Li in Wolverton Road.

He said: "A number of people responded to an advert on Gumtree for massage services. Some were offered sexual services for payment.

"Rui Li and Pierre Legris were present and participated."

Mr Lickley said the defence put forward by Pierre Legris was that a "disgruntled" customer may have followed Ms Li home and murdered her while her husband was out.

'Cool and focused'

The court heard Rui Li suffered forceful blows to the back of the head, probably caused by a heavy implement.

Mr Lickley told jurors that following the killing Pierre Legris was "cool and focused and clear in what he was doing, not rushed or in a panic".

"He had a plan and it involved others; his son, Jonathan Legris and his other wife Irene Smith."

Describing the financial motive for the killing, Mr Lickley said Pierre Legris' financial affairs "were becoming desperate" and explained a "complicated link" between his finances and his two wives.

Prior to the start of the trial, Mr Legris pleaded guilty to an offence of bigamy by marrying Ms Li in 2007 while having been married to Ms Smith since 1987.

Jonathan Legris and Irene Smith deny a charge of conspiracy to murder.

Ms Smith, of St Clement's Road, also denies a charge of perverting the course of justice by providing a false alibi to Pierre Legris by saying he stayed at her home on the night of the murder.

She also denies an offence of assisting an offender by hiring a storage facility and placing her husband's clothes and French passport in it.

Jonathan Legris, of Spring Road, Bournemouth, also denies a charge of assisting an offender by driving the Fiat Punto with Ms Li's body inside.

The trial continues.

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