A BRUTAL murder in which a Rugby woman was almost decapitated was committed by her estranged husband on his way home from shopping in the town centre, prosecutors have told a court.
Owen Williams’s wife Shana Cover was found a week later in the living room of her flat in Morton Gardens.
Williams, 50, of Grizedale, Brownsover, has pleaded not guilty at Warwick Crown Court to murdering 34-year-old Ms Cover in August last year.
Prosecutor Peter Grieves-Smith told the jury that Ms Cover, who worked at St Cross Hospital and was doing a degree at Coventry University, moved to Morton Gardens after she and Williams separated last year.
He told the court that she had seemed “quite jolly” when she signed for a parcel just after 3pm on August 14.
He continued: “She stayed within that address during the course of the afternoon, and her last phone call ended at 5.34.
“The prosecution case is that within minutes of that she was dead, killed in her own home.
“Her attacker had almost completely severed her head from her body, which was found a week later on August 21.”
Mr Grieves-Smith said there was no evidence her killer had forced entry, or that it was a burglary that had gone wrong – because her laptop and other items were still there.
Williams, who worked as a chef at the Bell and Barge Harvester in Leicester Road, was arrested that day.
He said he had been into Rugby town centre shopping until about 4.45 when he drove home on a route which took him along Clifton Road and then Murray Road.
During the subsequent police investigation, Ms Cover’s blood was found on a knife in Williams’ garage, as well as on his boots and on an air freshener in his car. His fingerprints and his footprints were found in Ms Cover’s flat.
Mr Grieves-Smith said officers also examined Williams’s claim about his movements on August 14 – and it is alleged that both CCTV footage and mobile phone cell site analysis show he had lied.
Cell site analysis of Williams’s phone showed a call to Ms Cover at 9.34pm on August 13 had gone via a mast which covered his home.
But a further call at around 11.15 went via a mast covering an area including Morton Gardens, before two further calls shortly before midnight from the Brownsover Lane mast near his home.
The following day at 3.22 he called Ms Cover again. CCTV evidence showed he then drove to the town centre where he visited various shops, including Argos where he bought a pair of binoculars and a phone.
He returned to his car and set off at 4.40 along a route which was covered by ‘quite an astonishing number of CCTV cameras which picked up his car moving along.’
In his interview Williams said he drove out of town and turned left along Murray Road at a junction which Mr Grieves-Smith observed was ‘getting very close to the home of Shana Cover.’
A CCTV camera showed him close to the junction at 4.43, and if he had turned into Murray Road as he said, another camera would have picked up his car – but it did not.
“In fact the next time the car is seen is at 5.52 on Murray Road. It proves his account is a lie.
“What it does show him doing at eight minutes to six is starting to go down Murray Road.”
“In relation to that missing hour, the evidence provides an explanation for where he went,” alleged Mr Grieves-Smith.
The trial continues.