Alleged landlady killer tells court that sex was consensual

John Heald
John Heald
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A man standing trial for the murder of a guesthouse landlady has denied raping another woman at knifepoint.

John Heald said the woman undressed to her stockings and suspenders and said: “Let’s go to bed.”

The woman from Sheffield, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has said Heald forced her to put on underwear and raped her in every room of the house, including the kitchen.

But Heald, of Foljambe Road, Rotherham, told the jury at Hull Crown Court the sex was consensual and the only time he picked up a knife was to offer her a sandwich.

He said: “She went to the fridge, poured me and her a drink. I asked if she wanted something to eat and picked the knife out of the rack. She said: ‘No I am not bothered’, so I put the knife away.”

It emerged today that the 53-year-old tradesman has served three prison sentences - the last in 1992 for disorder.

He was given a six-month sentence in 1983 for possessing an offensive weapon, threatening behaviour and assaulting a police officer. He was sent to prison two years later again for six months for burglary and two assaults. He was given community service in 1997 for threatening behaviour.

Heald said when he woke up in the early hours to find the woman had gone he decided to walk from Sheffield back to Rotherham, where he stopped in at Wilco’s to buy a craft knife - which the prosecution claim was later used to murder Bei Carter at the Morayland Hotel in Bridlington, five days later.

Heald told the jury that the knife was to cut up things like plasterboard.

Asked why he decided to go to Bridlington, Heald said he felt depressed and down and wanted to be on his own ‘to chill out.’

Tahir Khan QC defending asked: “Have you ever been to the Morayland Hotel?”

Heald replied: “I’ve never been before.”

Mr Khan asked: “Was it just pure chance?”

Heald replied: “Yes”.

Heald, denies murder and three counts of raping a woman in Sheffield on July 13.

The case continues.