Binman ‘smoked joint and ordered takeaway after killing girlfriend in lockdown’

A binman allegedly ordered a takeaway and smoked a joint after killing his clinically vulnerable girlfriend with a plastic tray during lockdown, a court has heard.

Wayne Morris, 47, from Bognor, is accused of intentionally smashing the tray over Ruth Brown's head in a violent row during the first nationwide coronavirus shutdown last year. .

A post-mortem showed Ruth, Morris's girlfriend of six years, had suffered two skull fractures.

Morris admits responsibility for his girlfriend's death but denies murder, claiming he can't remember the attack.

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A jury at Brighton Law Courts heard Ruth, 52, suffered from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and was terrified of contracting coronavirus.

To keep her company, Morris moved in with her on 1 April 2020, just after the first national lockdown was announced.

A week later, on 8 April, the court heard the pair were drinking in the garden from around 4pm.

But neighbour Martin Connelly reported hearing a series of loud bangs at 8pm.

Morris claims to have found Ruth's body lying in a pool of blood on the kitchen floor the next morning.

When asked why he didn't call an ambulance, he said: “My first thought was, ‘S**t, what have I done?’ and I panicked.”

Philip Bennetts QC, prosecuting, said: “And by that you mean, ‘Is there something I can do to get away with this?’”

Morris denied that was his intention.

When Mr Bennetts asked Morris why he was clearing up, Morris replied: "To me, it was out of sight out of mind. It’s not an easy thing to deal with."

Morris admits he moved Ruth's body upstairs to the bedroom and went back downstairs to keep drinking and smoking cannabis.

Later, he ordered a takeaway.

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  • Four days after Ruth was killed, Morris went on the run after bombarding his daughter Skye and Ruth's daughter Lauren with text messages, but he was arrested on the Isle of Wight the following day.

    Morris denied avoiding the consequences of what he had done.

    The trial continues.

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