Beds, Herts & Bucks

Katie Locke murder: Carl Langdell assaulted teacher's dead body

Katie Locke in her graduation gown Image copyright Hertfordshire Police
Image caption Katie Locke met her killer on an online dating site two weeks before her death

A man who described himself as a "monster" strangled a teacher on their first date before sexually assaulting and taking pictures of her corpse, a court heard.

Katie Locke, 23, was strangled at Theobalds Park Hotel, Waltham Cross, Hertfordshire, on Christmas Eve 2015.

Carl Langdell, 26, had pleaded guilty to murder at a hearing in March.

Her body was found dumped in a bush near a skip in the hotel grounds, St Albans Crown Court was told.

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At a two day sentencing hearing, Ann Evans, prosecuting, said after Langdell had killed Ms Locke "he decided to have sexual intercourse with her dead body after which he took photographs of her body on his iPhone".

"He accepts he looked at the photographs at some stage and then deleted them," she added.

Image copyright South Beds News Agency
Image caption Carl Langdell admitted murdering Katie Locke at a hotel on Christmas Eve

Langdell and Ms Locke, from Buckhurst Hill, Essex, met on the online dating site Plenty of Fish and were on their first date on the night she died.

"The tragedy of this case is that Katie Locke, like thousands of other young people, having agreed to a date with Carl Langdell, accepted what he told her about himself," said Ms Evans.

He had claimed to have his own law firm, but in reality had spent two years increasingly suffering from mental illness, "which had been marked by periods in psychiatric hospitals".

Image copyright Laurie Kavanagh / Geograph
Image caption The murder took place at Theobalds Park Hotel, Waltham Cross, Hertfordshire

In a statement released at the time of her death, her family said there was "not a bad bone in Katie's body" and that she "worked hard and loved her job as a teacher".

Langdell had previously told a psychiatric nurse about his violent fantasies, the court heard.

He had been detained under the Mental Health Act and given a suspended sentence for making threats to kill in March last year.

His sentencing will continue on Friday.

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