Sussex

Jurors retire in Phillip Brown 'girlfriend murder' trial

Debbie Levey Image copyright Sussex Police
Image caption Deborah Levey was found dead at her home last January

Jurors have retired in the trial of a man accused of smothering his former girlfriend at her West Sussex home after trying to win her back.

Phillip Brown, from the Chichester area, denies murdering 44-year-old Deborah Levey.

Two months before her death, she had ended her "passionate and highly charged" relationship with Mr Brown who continued to pursue her, jurors heard.

Mr Brown has previously told Lewes Crown Court he "loved her to bits".

'Jekyll and Hyde'

The court heard Ms Levey, a care scheme manager, was found dead at her home in East Ashling in January last year by a colleague who was due to travel with her to London for work.

A post-mortem examination was unable to find evidence that she died from natural causes but did rule out suggestions she may have self-harmed or overdosed.

Prosecutor Mark Dennis QC said there were "tell-tale" signs that her death was by asphyxia.

The jury has heard Mr Brown was "possessive and controlling" of Ms Levey who told friends he had a "Jekyll and Hyde" character.

Mr Brown has told the court the couple had talked about getting married and having children, before their relationship hit a rocky patch.

He told jurors: "I couldn't imagine spending a day without her."

He said he was "angry and annoyed" at being accused of her murder, saying he was not at her home on the day she was killed.

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