Dorset

Rui Li murder: Bigamist 'unconcerned' for missing wife

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 accused of conspiring with his first wife and son to kill his second wife showed "no emotion" as he reported her missing, 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.

Watched EastEnders

Nigel Lickley QC, prosecuting, told Winchester Crown Court Mr Legris, also known as Alain Baron, conspired to murder Ms Li with Irene Smith, 66, and their son Jonathan Legris, 27, for her life insurance policy.

He said Pierre Legris went to a police station four days after her murder.

"He said he had been away and when he returned on Sunday she wasn't there. He was vague and not in a hurry."

In a later interview "officers formed the impression he wasn't overly concerned about her being missing", he added.

"He showed no emotion... his son Jonathan was eating his lunch, similarly showing little concern."

He added Ms Smith told police her husband was at her home on the night Ms Li died, where they ate a meal and watched Eastenders.

But the jury was shown CCTV footage of Pierre Legris arriving there at about 04:45 BST.

The couple were also seen at a dancing competition in Watford the next day walking "arm-in-arm, hand-in-hand".

Mr Lickley said this showed "the closeness of their relationship".

'All planned'

Another CCTV video showed Pierre Legris and his son drive a Transit van from Ms Lui's home in Burnham Drive to Cromer Motors in St Clement's Road, a business that father and son ran together.

Mr Lickley said Ms Li's body was inside the van.

"It was all planned and agreed the van would be moved back to the garage, they would carry on as normal and deal with Rui Li at some future time."

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.

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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