Newark

Man denies murder as court hears Lincolnshire teen strangled to death

A court has heard that a 16-year-old Lincoln schoolgirl was strangled to death by a man she had met just hours earlier.

James Morton, 24, of Pierson Street in Newark, denied murdering 16-year-old Lincoln schoolgirl Hannah Pearson at his home on July 24 last year when he appeared at Nottingham Crown Court.

Michael Evans QC opened the prosecution’s case on July 4, 2017. He told the court Hannah had been strangled when police officers found her lying on Morton’s bedroom floor. Her iPhone was also found broken into three pieces.

The court heard Hannah, from Marston, had been celebrating boyfriend Jed Hope’s birthday when she met her alleged killer.

They had been drinking together before Morton invited them back to his parents’ house.

The pair had accepted, but Jed could not join them as he did not have the train fare.

Morton told the court that he and Ms Pearson had began kissing after he got into bed with her and that she had allowed him to strangle her lightly, describing the pressure as “two or three out of 10, before increasing the pressure to around four or five”.

He said he became concerned when he could not hear her breathing.

He had told police that he had previously put his hands around girlfriends’ throats during sex.

Morton called the police at 11 minutes past midnight on July 24 to state that he had killed someone and that it was an accident.

He claimed that she came to be on the floor after he shook her to try to wake her up.

The trial is expected to last between two and three weeks.