A UK man accused of raping and murdering his friend, who he was “trusted” to walk home for safety, has told a jury he “accidentally killed her during s.e.x”.
Wesley Streete, 20, said he put the body of Keeley Bunker in a stream and covered it with branches in the early hours of September 19 last year, after a night out, The Sun reports.
Ms. Bunker had been to a concert in Birmingham to see rapper Aitch with a friend and had arranged to go clubbing afterward with Mr. Streete.
But Ms. Bunker, who weighed just 41kg, was later discovered by her uncle, who was part of a search party looking for the missing 20-year-old, in Wigginton Park in Tamworth, Staffordshire, around 23km northeast of Birmingham.
Giving evidence in his defense for the first time, Mr. Streete denied deliberately killing Ms. Bunker.
He also admitted lying to the victim’s family, friends, and the police about what happened because he was “scared” and “embarrassed”.
Mr. Streete claimed the two were having s.e.x at the time Ms. Bunker died.
The 20-year-old gave his account of what happened as he was taken through the allegations by his barrister, Rachel Brand QC, at Stafford Crown Court on Tuesday.
Ms Brand asked: “When Keeley Bunker died, did that happen in Wigginton Park? Were you with her?”
“Yes,” he replied, to both questions.
Then Ms. Brand asked: “Did you deliberately kill her, Wesley – on purpose?”
“No,” Mr. Streete said.
After being asked: “How did she die?” Mr. Streete was seen to take a deep breath, replying: “I put my arms around her neck and accidentally killed her.”
“We were having s.e.x,” he added.
Asked if he agreed it was he who put her body in the stream and “covered it with branches”, Mr. Streete replied: “Yes.”
Ms. Brand asked why he had previously lied about what had happened. Mr. Streete replied: “Because I was scared.
“I didn’t know how to act and explain to other people how she died because I felt embarrassed in myself and very scared to explain to police – everyone.
“My mum and dad – everyone.”
Mr. Streete agreed he had some “problems with reading and writing”, telling the jury he left secondary school without qualifications before becoming a packer for online shopping firm Ocado.
He later got a football scholarship “for Lichfield and Tamworth” which ended because he “stopped playing football”.
Before the defendant began his evidence, jurors were told Mr. Streete had the assistance of a professional intermediary in court, sitting nearby but adhering to social distancing measures.
The judge explained the intermediary was “qualified to explain to him in simple terms, if necessary, the questions, and to assess the ability of individuals to understand and follow questions being asked of them”.
Prosecutors have told the jury Mr. Streete changed his account at least four times between his arrest and the trial.
Mr. Streete, of no fixed address but previously of St Austell Close, Tamworth, is also accused of two further counts of rape, three counts of sexual assault and a charge of sexual activity with a child, against three other victims, all said to have happened in previous years.
He denies all charges and his trial continues.