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Shaun Cummins murder trial hears of grim discovery


A murder trial heard how the frozen dismembered remains of ex-professional boxer Shaun Cummins were discovered by the police.

Pc Philip Briggs attended the former champion's semi-detached bungalow, in Marriott Road, Saffron Lane, Leicester, on September 12, after he was reported missing.

In a statement read out at Leicester Crown Court by prosecutor William Harbage QC, the officer described going into the back yard after no-one answered the door.

He said he realised something was wrong after unfolding a discarded mattress which gave off a strong smell he recognised from his experience in dealing with dead bodies.

There was also a chainsaw, a hacksaw and a small incinerator in the yard.

An enforcer battery ram was used to gain entry through the front door. Pc Briggs said: "The spare rooms were full with belongings and medication and it was very untidy."

In the hall were "forensic style" blue plastic shoe covers.

There was no mattress or bedding on the "missing person's" bed and part of the carpet had been cut out.

Pc Briggs said in another room, there were two freezers that hadn't been searched. He cleared the top of the smaller freezer then lifted the lid. It revealed some sort of large items wrapped in blue plastic and secured in grey electrical tape.

He said a very bad smell came from the freezer.

A colleague lifted the lid of the second freezer to find similarly wrapped items in it. He said the premises were then sealed, to await scientific examination.

Mr Cummins, 45, retired from boxing in 1995, with a record of 22 wins, six defeats and a draw.

He was in a motorbike crash in 2004, which left him paralysed from the waist down and virtually bed-ridden.

Thomas Dunkley (29), of no fixed address, who was Mr Cummins' unofficial carer, denies murder. He also denies theft of Mr Cummins' credit card or taking out a payday loan in his name, prior to the death.

Dunkley maintains Mr Cummins died of natural causes.

He claims to have "panicked" and, instead of calling for help, chopped up the remains and put them in a freezer.

He has pleaded guilty to preventing a lawful burial and four counts of fraudulently using Mr Cummins' bank accounts and cheques from his trust fund after his death. The prosecution say he dishonestly took £25,000 from the former boxer.

The jury was shown CCTV footage of Dunkley, of no fixed address, visiting stores to buy a chainsaw, a freezer, cleaning materials, goggles, a mask, plastic gloves and shoe covers, on September 6 and 7.

There was also footage of him using Mr Cummins' bank cards to withdraw cash from Oadby Asda, on September 6.

Pc Aaron Horn told the jury a district nurse reported Mr Cummins as missing on September 12.

When the officer contacted Dunkley by phone, he was unhelpful about Mr Cummins' whereabouts, saying he had taken him to a Dudley hospital but was unsure of which one.

Pc Horn said: "I'd know where it was and when."

He said he had checked out all possible hospitals, without success.

The trial continues.

Shaun Cummins murder trial hears of grim discovery

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