Murder trial: Daughter feared for mother

A WOMAN who died after her fiancée allegedly ran over her head with his Land Rover had “worshipped the ground he walked on”, a court has been told.Sarah Townsend told a jury at Ipswich Crown Court that she had disapproved of her 35-year-old mother Deborah Townsend's relationship with Christopher Caunter because she had heard he had a reputation for violence.

A WOMAN who died after her fiancée allegedly ran over her head with his Land Rover had “worshipped the ground he walked on”, a court has been told.

Sarah Townsend told a jury at Ipswich Crown Court that she had disapproved of her 35-year-old mother Deborah Townsend's relationship with Christopher Caunter because she had heard he had a reputation for violence.

Miss Townsend, 20, said she had told her mother “he's not going to marry you, he's going to bury you”, but she had continued her relationship with Caunter.

Miss Townsend said: “She worshipped the ground he walked on.”


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She described her mother as being “bubbly, outgoing and fun” and said she had a lot of friends. However, in the months before her mother's death in July 2005 she had noticed that she had lost a lot of weight and seemed unhappy.

She said that on one occasion she saw her mother had two black eyes and a bruise on her chin and had thought Caunter had beaten her up but he denied it when Miss Townsend accused him.

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Miss Townsend said she didn't speak to her mother between July 13 and July 16, 2005, following a typical mother and daughter argument and came out of hospital on July 17 after giving birth to learn that her mother was dead.

Caunter, 35, of Hullbridge, Essex has denied murdering Deborah Townsend on July 15, 2005.

Also before the court are his brother Robert Caunter, 38, and Michael Briggs, 40, both of Barking and Joseph Brown, 38, of Romford.

Robert Caunter, Briggs and Brown have denied assisting Christopher Caunter after Miss Townsend's death and Briggs and Brown have denied assisting Christopher Caunter in relation to an investigation by the Inland Revenue into his business affairs.

The court has heard that Christopher Caunter and Miss Townsend had fled to Lowestoft on July 14 after Caunter's business premises were raided by the Inland Revenue.

The trial continues today.

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