Killers are found GUILTY of murdering woman, 42, at their ‘flat of horrors’


A woman who was bludgeoned to death with a rolling pin met one her killers by chance after getting on the wrong bus and visiting a pub – only to be lured back to his ‘house of horrors,’ flat where she was chopped up. 

Nathan Maynard-Ellis, 25, and his boyfriend, David Leesley, 30, have been found guilty of murdering Julia Rawson, 42, at their flat in Tipton, near Dudley, in May 2019.

The pair bludgeoned her to death with a rolling pin before using hacksaws to cut her body up into 12 pieces which they stuffed into black bin bags.

They then dumped the body parts in two different locations and burnt her blood-stained clothes in a desperate bid to cover their crimes.

Jurors heard the apartment in Tipton was dubbed the ‘flat of horrors’.

Pictures taken inside show it crammed with creepy novels, a Chucky doll holding a knife and gory homemade face-masks of characters from horror movies Maynard-Ellis used to make.

Another snap shows a work bench covered with dolls heads and severed hands along with tools including pliers, drills and an axe.

The trial heard how: 

  • Julia Rawson met one of her killers, Maynard-Ellis after she got on the wrong bus and ended up at the Bottle And Cork pub in Dudley, on May 11 last year;
  • She would likely have not known he was gay, nor that his partner was at their ‘flat of horrors,’ when she got into a cab with him;
  • Ms Rawson was hit over the back of the head four times with a rolling pin before Maynard-Ellis and Leesley dismembered her in the bath;
  • It was suggested they may have removed her right kidney as a macabre trophy of the killing
  • Maynard-Ellis was seen taking a blood-stained sofa to a local dump a day after her murder;
  • A napkin which Ms Rawson had written her nickname ‘Ju Ju’ on and given to Maynard-Ellis was found in his bedside cabinet; 
  • Bags containing Ms Rawson’s remains were found on June 12 and 19 behind and a primary school and in wasteland
  • Jurors took just six hours to return a unanimous murder verdict against Maynard-Ellis and his partner David Leesley

Julia, pictured sitting at the bar, met Maynard-Ellis, right, at the Bottle and Cork pub on May 11, 2019. Prosecutors say it was ‘unlikely,’ that she knew he was gay when she got in a cab to go back to his flat

Nathan Maynard-Ellis, 25, and his boyfriend, David Leesley, 30 (left and right) have been convicted of murdering Julia Rawson at their 'flat of horrors,' in Tipton, near Dudley

Nathan Maynard-Ellis, 25, and his boyfriend, David Leesley, 30 (left and right) have been convicted of murdering Julia Rawson at their ‘flat of horrors,’ in Tipton, near Dudley

Grisly items found inside ‘flat of horrors’  

Pictures taken inside the murderers’ flat show it crammed with creepy novels, a Chucky doll holding a knife and gory homemade face-masks of characters from horror movies Maynard-Ellis used to make.

Another snap shows a work bench covered with dolls heads and severed hands along with tools including pliers, drills and an axe.

Detectives also found a collection of violent horror films, including Nekromantic 1 and Nekromantic 2 – which depict images of decapitation and necrophilia – as well as a man having sex with a female corpse.

A napkin which Ms Rawson had written her nickname ‘Ju Ju’ on and given to Maynard-Ellis was found in his bedside cabinet.

A metal bin which had been used to burn Ms Rawson’s blood-spattered clothes was found, while blood stains were also found underneath a newly-laid carpet. 

Maynard-Ellis was snared when CCTV showed him chatting to Ms Rawson in a pub on the night he lured her back to the flat he shared with Leesley. 

As well as having been seen by psychiatrists about his sexually violent fantasies, 

Maynard-Ellis had collected newspaper clippings and books about serial killers, and horror films featuring decapitation and necrophilia.

On Monday Maynard-Ellis and Leesley were found guilty of murder, concealment, destruction or disposal of a body and perverting the course of justice.

The jury took six hours to return a unanimous verdict after a four-week trial at Coventry Crown Court.

Maynard-Ellis was also found guilty of rape, attempted rape and threats to kill against another woman.

Mr Justice Soole thanked the jury and told them: ‘It has been a very demanding case because of the subject matter, I am very conscious of that.’

The pair were remanded into custody and will be sentenced at a date yet to be fixed. 

Ms Rawson had spent the evening with an ex-girlfriend, but caught the wrong bus home and ended up in the Bottle And Cork pub in Dudley, on May 11 last year.

CCTV released by West Midlands Police following the verdict, shows Maynard-Ellis enter the pub at 10.45pm.

Ms Rawson, who was sitting with another man at the bar, approached him and they started chatting. 

Pictures taken inside show it crammed with creepy novels, a Chucky doll holding a knife and gory homemade face-masks of characters from horror movies Maynard-Ellis used to make

Pictures taken inside show it crammed with creepy novels, a Chucky doll holding a knife and gory homemade face-masks of characters from horror movies Maynard-Ellis used to make

Maynard-Ellis had a a work bench covered with dolls heads and severed hands along with tools including pliers, drills and an axe

Maynard-Ellis had a a work bench covered with dolls heads and severed hands along with tools including pliers, drills and an axe

The horror fan fanatic collected newspaper clippings and books about serial killers, and horror films featuring decapitation and necrophilia

The horror fan fanatic collected newspaper clippings and books about serial killers, and horror films featuring decapitation and necrophilia

Jurors heard Ms Rawson (pictured) was hit over the back of the head four times with a rolling pin before Maynard-Ellis and Leesley dismembered her in the bath. She was lured back to their flat after meeting Maynard-Ellis at a pub in Dudley

Jurors heard Ms Rawson (pictured) was hit over the back of the head four times with a rolling pin before Maynard-Ellis and Leesley dismembered her in the bath. She was lured back to their flat after meeting Maynard-Ellis at a pub in Dudley

Chance meeting led murder victim back to ‘flat of horrors’ 

Jurors heard how Julia Dawson had spent the evening of May 11 with an ex-girlfriend, but ended up in the Bottle and Cork pub in Dudley after catching the wrong bus home.

Footage played to the court showed murder-obsessed Nathan Maynard-Ellis walking into the pub as she spoke with another man. 

Ms Rawson, who was sitting with another man at the bar, approached him and they started chatting.

Jurors heard that Ms Rawson was a lesbian but was sometimes ‘flirtatious’ with men while drunk.

Karim Khalil QC told the trial: ‘At about 2am in the morning, Julia and Nathan Maynard-Ellis got into a taxi.

‘Before they arrived at the flat it’s unlikely that Julia would have known that Nathan Maynard-Ellis was a homosexual.

‘She would also not have known that his boyfriend was in the flat.

‘Furthermore, Julia could not have known that she was about to enter a “flat of horrors” – but she must have realised this very soon after she went in. 

Jurors heard that Ms Rawson was a lesbian but was sometimes ‘flirtatious’ with men while drunk.

Karim Khalil QC told the trial: ‘At about 2am in the morning, Julia and Nathan Maynard-Ellis got into a taxi. 

‘Before they arrived at the flat it’s unlikely that Julia would have known that Nathan Maynard-Ellis was a homosexual.

‘She would also not have known that his boyfriend was in the flat.

‘Furthermore, Julia could not have known that she was about to enter a “flat of horrors” – but she must have realised this very soon after she went in.

‘One can only imagine the sense of panic that it might have created in her.’

Jurors heard Ms Rawson was hit over the back of the head four times with a rolling pin before Maynard-Ellis and Leesley dismembered her in the bath.

The pair used saws to cut up her body and it was suggested the evil pair may have removed her right kidney as a macabre trophy of the killing.

After murdering and dismembering Ms Rawson, the pair stuffed her body parts into black plastic bags.

The next day the pair were caught on CCTV strolling along a nearby canal where they dumped the bags in undergrowth.

Video footage released the evening after the murder shows Maynard-Ellis enjoying a pint in the Fountain Inn pub in Tipton, less than 24 hours after the murder.

The clip shows Maynard-Ellis, wearing a smart shirt and jeans, cracking jokes and standing at the bar.

After Ms Rawson’s family reported her missing, police launched a huge search which lasted for 47 days before he body parts were finally discovered.

Later footage taken on the afternoon of May 16, shows Maynard-Ellis dumping the blood-stained sofa and roll of carpet at Oldbury rubbish tip.

He was filmed with friend John Foster, who had no idea what Maynard-Ellis had done, choosing which bin to dump the items in.

 

David Leesley, 30,

Nathan Maynard-Ellis, 25,

David Leesley, 30, and Nathan Maynard-Ellis, 25, were arrested 11 days after they brutally murdered Julia Rawson. A jury at their murder trial today returned a unanimous guilty verdict against them both

Maynard-Ellis was filmed visiting another pub just a day after Julia had disappeared. Police later managed to arrest the horror-obsessed murderer following a CCTV appeal

Maynard-Ellis was filmed visiting another pub just a day after Julia had disappeared. Police later managed to arrest the horror-obsessed murderer following a CCTV appeal 

Police uncovered washed traces of blood under a newly-laid carpet at the flat in Tipton where Ms Rawson was bludgeoned to death

Police uncovered washed traces of blood under a newly-laid carpet at the flat in Tipton where Ms Rawson was bludgeoned to death 

At one point, pony-tailed Maynard-Ellis even casually walks over to speak to a member of staff before going back to the car.

Maynard-Ellis and Leesley were finally caught on May 22 when a member of the public alerted police following a CCTV appeal.

Body-cam footage shows an officer ask Maynard-Ellis: ‘We’re looking for a woman who has been missing for about 11 days.

‘We’ve checked CCTV and she is with someone who matches your description.’

Maynard-Ellis laughs before saying: ‘I’ve probably chopped all my hair off though.’

When he is asked if he knows Ms Rawson, he shakes his head repeatedly before saying: ‘The only people I know are my partner and his family.’

Maynard-Ellis refuses to tell officers his name before being arrested with Leesley.

Officers also found a bin that was used to burn some of the victim's clothing following the brutal murder last year

Officers also found a bin that was used to burn some of the victim’s clothing following the brutal murder last year 

Footage taken on the afternoon of May 16, shows Maynard-Ellis dumping a blood-stained sofa and roll of carpet at Oldbury rubbish tip

Footage taken on the afternoon of May 16, shows Maynard-Ellis dumping a blood-stained sofa and roll of carpet at Oldbury rubbish tip

He was filmed with a friend, who had no idea what he done, as they chose which bin to dump the items in

He was filmed with a friend, who had no idea what he done, as they chose which bin to dump the items in

Bags containing Ms Rawson’s remains were found on June 12 and 19 behind Sacred Heart Primary School in Tipton while others were discovered a mile away on wasteland near Coneygree Road.

A post mortem revealed her hands were cut off at the wrists; her feet were cut off at the ankles and her legs were cut off below the hip.

Her arms were cut off below the shoulders and her spine was cut through at waist level while her head was cut off at the neck.

When officers swooped on the pair’s flat they discovered a metal bin which had been used to burn Ms Rawson’s blood-spattered clothes.

Eleven days after bludgeoning a woman to death, Maynard-Ellis and Leesley were arrested by police

Eleven days after bludgeoning a woman to death, Maynard-Ellis and Leesley were arrested by police

Detectives also found a collection of violent horror films, including Nekromantic 1 and Nekromantic 2 – which depict images of decapitation and necrophilia – as well as a man having sex with a female corpse.

A napkin which Ms Rawson had written her nickname ‘Ju Ju’ on and given to Maynard-Ellis was found in his bedside cabinet.

After pulling up a newly laid carpet, police also found blood stains on the floor. 

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