A jealous lover killed his fiancée on the night he proposed to her, a court heard today.
Mark Brandford, 49, crushed the skull of partner Kayleigh Dunning in a ‘brutal and ferocious ’ attack, a jury was told.
In the lead up to her death, a court heard he had been to a registry office with plans to marry his victim, something she knew nothing about.
Images posted to Brandford ’s Instagram from the evening show Ms Dunning, 32, posing next to novelty balloons which said ‘Will you marry me? ’ on them, the jury heard.
But the defendant is also accused of disclosing private sexual photographs and films of his partner in the year before her murder.Advertisement Advertisement
The alleged attack on the cleaner took place at Brandford ’s home in Portsmouth, Hampshire, in December 2019.Ms Dunning ‘tried to defend herself and she received heavy injuries ’, jurors heard (Picture: Hampshire Police/Solent News)
Prosecutor Simon Jones said: ‘Numerous blows to her head and neck had crushed her skull and severed the major artery in her neck.
‘She had clearly tried to defend herself and she received heavy injuries to her hands and forearms in her struggle, her struggle to ward off the attack – but she didn ’t have a chance. ’
He said that she was naked at the time of the ‘prolonged and violent attack ’.
Mr Jones added: ‘The prosecution say that Mark Brandford extensively lied when questioned by police.
‘We say that he murdered Kayleigh because he was jealous. ’Police investigate the killing in Portsmouth in December 2019 (Picture: Portsmouth News/Solent News)
The court heard how the couple had an ‘unusual history ’. They met two years before the murder and were both in long-term relationships at the time.
They both broke up with their partners to be together and were at one point engaged, but their relationship ended in August 2019.
Ms Dunning moved back to her father ’s home and started seeing her previous boyfriend before becoming involved with Brandford again.
Mr Jones said that they didn ’t claim to be in a relationship but Ms Dunning said she loved him.