Man accused of killing fiancee in shower at their Whitechapel flat ‘warned he would do something stupid’

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 accused of bludgeoning his fiancee to death bombarded two old friends with increasingly erratic messages in the days leading up to the killing, a court has heard.

Roderick Deakin-White, 38, allegedly carried out the "savage attack" on Amy Parsons while she was showering in the Whitechapel flat they shared on April 25.

Snaresbrook Crown Court heard that a week before he allegedly murdered the 35-year-old Australian after she told him she was leaving him he wrote: "I am going to do something stupid."

Mr Deakin-White, from Whitechapel, denies one count of murder.

Giving evidence, Aneliese Reason told the court Deakin-White messaged her on April 18 to tell her his partner had confessed to cheating on him with James Saunders, a man she met through work.

Ms Reason met Mr Deakin-White, then going by the name Roderick Harrison, when they were graphic design students and briefly flatmates in 2004. She told the court their contact after university was "infrequent".

In a series of Instagram messages, he said he had "fallen out" with Ms Parsons over his cross-dressing habit and asked Ms Reason how to proceed.

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He was said to have texted: "I am going to do something stupid, I just know it."

The court heard Mr Deakin-White said his fiancee and Mr Saunders had been going to the restaurant where Ms Reason worked and asked whether he should go there to see them together, which she strongly discouraged.

Jurors heard he continued to message Ms Reason at all hours over the next few days, asking her how to win Ms Parsons back.

On April 22, he apparently told her that he caught Ms Parsons texting her lover and asked Ms Reason to meet in person the next day.

But Ms Reason told him she did not think that would be appropriate and it was time for her to "back off".

In reaction to this Mr Deakin-White started ranting at her saying it was "so unfair" of her when he was "literally suicidal" and called her "another selfish woman".

Catherine Woodhouse, another friend from university, told the court Mr Deakin-White had confided to her about struggling with mental health problems before but often did not "feel like" taking medication.

She said the defendant unexpectedly started messaging her at work on April 23, detailing the infidelity and asking her for advice.

Ms Woodhouse said she kept trying to reassure him throughout the day.

She wrote: "Don't get mad if I don't reply like you have been known to before."

Prosecutor Gareth Patterson QC asked her: "What did you mean by that?"

She said: "He would get in contact. If I didn't reply often enough or quickly enough he would get mad, call me names and delete me off Facebook.

"It was a frequent occurrence."

Ms Woodhouse told the court she told him off when he sent her a draft suicide note, adding she found it "threatening".

She said in 2010 she received a friend request on Facebook by a profile of Mr Deakin-White "as a lady".

"It was him but dressed as a woman with makeup on," Ms Woodhouse said.

"That was when I discovered he liked cross-dressing. He asked me about mascara."

That particular account was deleted after he started dating Ms Parsons around 2011.

Asked whether Ms Parsons had been told of that interest, Ms Woodhouse said: "He had revealed to her that he liked it and it was something he wanted to do with her."

The court heard Ms Parsons had "struggled" with that aspect of the relationship and this had led to many rows.

The trial continues.