Nottingham

Newark man, 24, strangled Hannah Pearson, 16, in bedroom

Hannah Pearson Image copyright Nottinghamshire Police
Image caption Hannah Pearson, from Marston in Lincolnshire, died in the early hours of Sunday morning

A man who "increasingly enjoyed the sensation of strangling women" killed a 16-year-old girl in his bedroom, a court has heard.

James Morton, of Pierson Street in Newark, took Hannah Pearson back to his house after meeting her for the first time in Lincoln on 23 July 2016.

Ms Pearson was found dead by police officers at about 00:10 GMT the following day.

Mr Morton, 24, denied one count of murder at Nottingham Crown Court.

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Michael Evans QC, prosecuting, said Mr Morton had invited Ms Pearson and her boyfriend Jed Hope - who was a friend of the defendant - back to his parents' home.

They accepted the invitation, but Mr Hope then said that he could not go as he did not have the train fare.

Later, Ms Pearson and Mr Morton were alone in the house and, the defendant said, they began kissing after he got into bed with her.

The court heard Mr Morton claimed she allowed him to strangle her lightly before he increased the pressure.

Mr Evans said: "The defendant admitted to enjoying the sensation of strangling women during sex. He admitted enjoying the feeling of domination."

The court heard Mr Morton called the police at 00:11 BST on 24 July, saying "he had killed somebody and it was an accident".

Image caption Police were called to a house on Pierson Street in Newark just after midnight on Sunday

When officers arrived they found Ms Pearson naked in Mr Morton's bedroom, with her phone smashed on the floor.

Mr Morton's blood was found on the case of the phone and the court heard the defendant had a fresh cut on his thumb.

A report by pathologist Michael Biggs found Ms Pearson's body showed "significant application of pressure to the neck that would be consistent with the deceased's neck being squeezed by a hand or hands".

Mr Evans told the court Mr Morton knew the dangers of his actions.

"We suggest, on the evidence you will hear, that it would have been obvious to him that he was causing really serious harm. On this night, we say his increasing obsession with strangulation reached a different level."

The trial continues.

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