Humberside

Bei Carter murder accused John Heald pleads not guilty

John Heald Image copyright Humberside Police
Image caption John Heald, 53, is appearing at Hull Crown Court

A man charged with three rapes and the murder of a seaside landlady will admit responsibility for her death but say it was an accident, a court has been told.

John Heald, 53, of Foljambe Road, Rotherham, also faces three counts of rape in the Sheffield area on 13 July.

Prosecutors told Hull Crown Court that Mr Heald went to Bridlington where he stabbed landlady Bei Carter to death.

Mr Heald denies murder, but accepts he was responsible for Ms Carter's death which he said was an accident.

Graham Reeds QC, for the prosecution, told the jury that Mr Heald raped a woman known at knifepoint on the 13 July.

The court heard that when police went to investigate the offences he had fled.

He spent the next few days on the run, the court was told.

He then caught a train to Bridlington in East Yorkshire where he checked into the Morayland Hotel which was run by Bei Carter and her husband Terry.

On the 18 July, the jury heard, Mr Heald "violently attacked" and murdered Bei Carter.

Mr Reeds said the post-mortem examination showed Mrs Carter had been stabbed once through the chest and that the degree of internal bleeding was so severe she died immediately.

Mr Heald then returned to Rotherham and spent the next week on the run until he was arrested on the afternoon of Friday 25 July after a police search.

The case continues.

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