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The Old Bailey.jpg
UK News

Christian woman on trial, accused of decapitating church friend

by Alex Collett

A Christian woman has been accused of killing her church friend, the Old Bailey has heard.

Jemma Mitchell, 38, has been accused of murdering 67-year-old Mee Kuen Chong after she fell out with her over the issue of money last year.

Ms Chong was reported missing from her home in Wembley, London and more than 200 miles away from her home. Her headless body was found in woods near Salcombe Devon more than two weeks later. 

Ms Mitchell denies the allegations. 

Deanna Heer KC, at the opening of Ms Mitchell's trial said: "It is the prosecution case that she assaulted and killed the deceased, and then transported her body to Salcombe in a large blue suitcase where she attempted to dispose of it in the woods."

The court heard that Ms Mitchell visited the victim on the day she went missing on 11th June and was caught on CCTV footage walking from Ms Chong's house with two suitcases. 

Prosecutor Ms Heer told the Old Bailey: "The larger of the two was obviously very heavy and difficult to manoeuvre. It is the prosecution case that it contained the body of Mee Kuen Chong."

Jurors were told that Ms Mitchell had studied osteopathy, and her professional website said she was "attuned to subjects in neuroanatomy, genetics and dissection of human cadavers."

Ms Heer said Ms Mitchell had befriended the victim through church, but they "had recently fallen out over money."

Ms Heer argued Ms Mitchell had travelled to Salcombe with the suitcase on 26th June in a grey rented Volvo, where the vehicle was caught on CCTV driving towards the area of woodland where Ms Chong's body was found. 

The court heard a woman who had been on holiday had "made a gruesome discovery of a headless body of a woman" while she was out for a walk with her family on 27th June. 

Ms Chong's remains were found lying at the bottom of some steps, the area was cordoned off and an extensive search began, Jurors heard. 

Her head was discovered four days later, about 10m (30ft) away in undergrowth, the court heard. 

Ms Chong was described as vulnerable and prone to erratic behaviour.

Jurors heard, when Ms Chong was reported deceased, Ms Mitchell was living with her mother at a family home in Brent, which was in a state of disrepair. 
There was no roof on the property and it was covered in scaffolding.

Ms Chong had agreed to hand over £200,000 to help with repairs, the prosecution claims, before she had a changed her mind. 

The trial continues.

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