A “controlling” boyfriend murdered his petite girlfriend by stamping on her head when she refused to hand over her Facebook password, the Old Bailey heard today.
Kane Boyce flew into a violent rage and was heard to shout “log on, log on” as he attacked 20-year-old Paula Newman in the street in New Addington, south London, as she refused to hand over a password to one of her accounts, it is said.
Thinking she was cheating on him, Boyce had become ‘obsessed’ with looking at her Facebook account to confirm his suspicions, the court heard.
Neighbours heard piercing screams as Boyce attacked his girlfriend after telling her: “If you don’t log on, we’ll see what happens.”
When she collapsed later on, Boyce blamed it on a ‘fit’ and claimed Ms Newman had thrown herself out of his car.
But Ms Newman’s friends saw fist-shaped marks on her back and bruising around her neck, the court heard.
Boyce refused to call an ambulance, and even as his girlfriend lay dying, Boyce began cleaning up evidence of the attack at their home in New Addington, Croydon, jurors heard.
“This defendant is a man who is jealous, obsessive, controlling, and violent’, said prosecutor Gillian Etherton QC.
“The defendant, in a violent rage, beat and it would appear kicked or stamped on Paula’s head causing her severe and irreparable brain injury which brought about her death.”
Boyce allegedly murdered his girlfriend on November 12, 2013, when they went for a drive in the middle of the night.
Residents in Elmside, New Addington, were woken by the screech of car tyres and a man shouting and a woman screaming outside.
One of them heard a male voice shout three or four times “log on, log, on”, the reply “no, no, no”, and then the male voice say: “If you don’t log on, we’ll see what happens.”
Neighbour Marianne Rowe heard “frightening intimidating shouting” and a woman’s “shrieking, piercing sort of screams”.
Another witness, Luke Smith, heard Boyce’s powerful BMW, with the personalised numberplate K77ANE revving and a man shouting: “If you don’t log on, we’ll see what happens”, the court heard.
Ms Etherton said Ms Newman, who had mild learning difficulties, had been planning to leave Boyce in the weeks before her death.
“It appears that at the beginning of their relationship, the defendant treated Paula well and gave her gifts, but within a few months this changed”, she said.
“The relationship was up and down to say the very least.
“By the end of the summer, Paula was confiding in those close to her that they were serious problems in the relationship, they were arguing, she told those close to her that the defendant was controlling, abusive and possessive and she was unhappy.”
Stefani Taylor, a friend of Ms Newman, told police: “He had complete control of her and I have never seen her like that before.
“I pleaded with her to leave him but she would always say she loved him.”
Ms Newman, who was five foot three inches tall and weighed under nine stone, started dating Boyce seven months before her death, having met him while they shared a house in Beckenham, south London.
Ms Etherton told a friend four days before her death that she wanted to move out, and asked for help removing her possessions to avoid Boyce noticing until she had actually left.
“Paula also confided in her niece Nicola Newman that the defendant wanted her to stay in the house all the time – she felt like a prisoner”, she added.
Ms Etherton said the day before her death, Boyce was heard complaining that Ms Newman would not let him into her Facebook account.
Days before her death, she had exchanged Facebook messages with an ex-boyfriend, Daniel Jackson, in which they discussed meeting up.
The defendant viewed these messages and responded by texting their landlord that she “lies, steals and cheats” on him and asking to move into another room, the court heard.
Six days before the killing, Mr Jackson received three messages on Facebook purporting to be from Miss Newman saying “So you wanna meet up”, “I love it in the a like a s x” and “Oi little c**k wot you doing”.
“In the weeks prior to Paula’s death, and indeed at the time of her death, this defendant became obsessed with getting access to Paula’s Facebook accounts”, Ms Etherton said.
Boyce allegedly told a friend: “I’ve asked her for this Facebook account and she won’t give it over to me for love nor money.”
Boyce also posted online: “I knew she was f*****g cheating on me, lying cheating slag”, the court heard.
Jurors were told after the attack, Boyce returned to their home with Ms Newman, who was visibly unwell.
The victim’s face appeared badly bruised and she was “floppy and dazed”, the court heard.
He told their housemate she had jumped out of his moving car, saying: “I was asking for her Facebook password and she wouldn’t give it to me.
“I threatened her with Theresa and she jumped out of the car.”
Ms Etherton said: “It looked as though Paula was incapable of walking on her own.
“The defendant tried to make Paula drink some water, he was slapping her face to wake her up.”
Boyce rejected pleas for him to call an ambulance, instead showering Ms Newman and laying her naked on the bed, it was said.
The next morning, Boyce woke up one of the occupants of the house saying: “I don’t think she’s breathing.”
At 6am the next morning, Boyce drove to a stretch of road and collected Ms Newman’s shoe and body warmer from beside a fence, before going to get cigarettes, the court heard.
When he returned home, paramedics were finally called, but could not revive Ms Newman.
One of the paramedics said he felt ‘uncomfortable’ while in the house, and believed Boyce was hiding information from him.
The jury was told that while Boyce had the ability to charm women he also had a history of being manipulative, controlling and extremely violent to previous partners.
Women he had attacked in the past were often too terrified to report the violence, although some of the incidents had resulted in convictions, Ms Etherton said.
Boyce, from Erith, southeast London, denies murder.
The trial continues.