Post-mortem confirms cause of death of ‘murdered’ Stansted couple

Floral tributes left at the scene of Stansted double murder

Floral tributes left at the scene of Stansted double murder - Credit: Archant

Neighbours of a Stansted Mountfitchet couple have been left shocked and saddened after their suspected double murder in the village last week.

54-year-old Gillian Phillips and a man believed to be her partner, David Oakes, 60, were found at Ms Phillips home in Bentfield Gardens at around 11pm on Wednesday (July 22).

Paramedics from the East of England Ambulance Service attended the house but the couple were pronounced dead at the scene.

Post-mortem examinations were carried out last Friday (July 24), and Ms Phillips’ provisional cause of death was given as multiple stab wounds.

Mr Oakes, of Mountfitchet Road, died of head injuries, pending further tests.

Neighbour Peter Trundle said: “It’s a sad and shocking day for the village. I have lived here for 52 years, and we have never had anything like this happen.

“I think it’s fair to say the area has changed over the years, but we don’t usually have any crime.”

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Brett Rogers, 23, of Bentfield Gardens, believed to be the son of Ms Phillips, has been charged with the murders and appeared at Chelmsford Crown Court via video link on Monday (July 27).

Rogers is set to issue a plea on September 21, with a provisional trial date of Feb 9 set for next year.

Detectives seized several knives from the scene, after a cordon was put in place around the semi-detached property last week.

Ms Phillips had once worked as a dinner lady at St Mary’s Primary School and was described by one neighbour who did not want to be named as a “lovely, caring woman”.

Tracey Frost, of Bentfield Gardens, said: “Gill was a very nice, polite lady. She really welcomed me into the street when I first moved here three years ago and my thoughts are with her family at this sad time.

“It’s just shocking and something which you don’t expect to happen in your own street.”

Floral tributes were laid opposite the house in Bentfield Gardens with several written messages of condolence for the couple.

One read: “Gill, you will be sorely missed. I will always remember your smile and friendship. My thoughts are with your family, may you rest in peace.”

Other neigbours were equally as surprised of such an incident taking place in Stansted.

Nicola Rossington, of Bentfield Close, said: “You hear of things like this happening, but you never expect it on your own doorstep. This is a quiet little village.

“It has understandably shocked a lot of a people.”

Douglas Slater said: “I can’t believe it, nothing like this has ever happened before and I’ve been living here for 16 years.”