Whitechapel cross-dresser accused of murdering fiancee ‘tried to reduce habit after fearing she would leave him’, court hears

Roderick Deakin-White is on trial at Snaresbrook Crown Court. Picture: Ken Mears

Roderick Deakin-White is on trial at Snaresbrook Crown Court. Picture: Ken Mears - Credit: Archant

A man who allegedly beat his fiancee to death made an effort to cut down his cross-dressing habits after fearing she would leave him, a court has heard.

Roderick Deakin-White, 38, is accused of bludgeoning Amy Parsons, 35, with a metal bar while she was showering at their Crowder Street, Whitechapel flat in April.

Snaresbrook Crown Court heard that Deakin-White found cross-dressing "soothing" and had become increasingly concerned that Ms Parsons had struck up a relationship with another man, James Saunders.

Doctor Tim Green, who conducted several medical assessments of Mr Deakin-White following his arrest, said the habit had caused "discomfort and friction" in the couple's relationship.

"He recognised that it was something uncomfortable for her. It was something in which he found great solace and was soothing.

"He had been doing his best to reduce the amount he was doing it."

Dr Green said that Ms Parsons became increasingly unhappy and had made "ultimatums", causing Deakin-White great distress.

Most Read

"He'd become so anxious that she was planning to leave him that he read her diary and followed her to see the nature of the relationship (with Mr Saunders)," he said.

The court heard that Ms Parsons had made derogatory comments about Mr Deakin-White, telling him that Mr Saunders was "more of a man" than he was.

On the evening of the attack, Ms Parsons told him that she would be spending the night with Mr Saunders.

Dr Green said that Mr Deakin-White had interpreted this as a termination of their relationship.

"He started feeling very upset and that this was the end. He followed her, pleading with her to not leave him.

"In an attempt to elicit sympathy, he told her that he would commit suicide, to which she replied, 'I wouldn't even come to your funeral'. He lost it and hit her with the bar."

The defence for Mr Deakin-White claims that he suffered from a loss of control during the attack, caused by a previous diagnosis of autism (ASD).

But Dr Green said that, in his opinion, Deakin-White did not qualify for such a diagnosis.

"He is an 'avoidant dependent', he has a fear of abandonment. He will work very hard to avoid being abandoned, more than most people maybe.

"He does not qualify for formal diagnosis of ASD. He has a negative, pessimistic view of the world.

"There was nothing significant or grossly strange, he was a little shy but that's not unusual. There was nothing that caused me any great concern."

About his cross-dressing habits, Dr Green said: "There is nothing fundamentally wrong. These are preferences of his but he can see how people think that might be a bit odd.

"He was comfortable saying he engaged in it regularly, something that made him feel comfortable. He understood very well that other people might find it unusual.

"Ms Parsons thought it was strange and found it uncomfortable."

Mr Deakin-White denies one count of murder.

The trial continues.