STANSTED MURDER TRIAL: Son of murdered mother and her partner found ‘laughing and covered in blood’, jury hears

Police cordon off Bentfield Gardens

Police cordon off Bentfield Gardens - Credit: Archant

The son of a ‘murdered’ woman and her partner in Stansted Mountfitchet was found laughing outside their home, jurors heard on the first day of the his trial.

Brett Rogers stands accused of killing his mother Gillian Phillips, 54, and David Oakes, 60, in a home in Bentfield Gardens on July 22 last year.

The 23-year-old called 999 shortly before 11pm, saying: “There’s been a murder at Bentfield Gardens.”

Officers arrived to find Brett Rogers outside the house, laughing with his hands covered in blood, Chelmsford Crown Court was told today (Tuesday).

Prosecutor Simon Spence QC said: “Police were met with a scene which can only be described as horrific.” He added that Ms Phillips was found on a living room sofa and Mr Oakes lying on the floor, covered in blood, but still breathing.


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Paramedics tried to save his life but Mr Oakes died shortly afterwards.

Forensic experts found blood-spattered knives, some broken, and trainers in the kitchen bin. It is alleged that Rogers changed from a pair of size 8 trainers to another size 9 pair and that all his clothing and footwear was blood-stained.

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Brett Rogers, a former milkman, denies two counts of murder and claims he returned home to discover the pair inside. He says someone else killed them.

At 10.54pm police received a 999 call from Rogers’s mobile. He said: “There’s been a murder at Bentfield Gardens.”

Asked how he knew, Rogers replied: “Er, well I came in and there’s been a murder.”

“He went on to say ‘my [unintelligible] been stabbed’ and another person that he didn’t know’,” said Mr Spence.

“Police saw Rogers outside “looking vacant” and something in his hand. An officer said when he first saw him he was laughing, his hands were covered in blood.

“He asked where the blood came from and he pointed and nodded towards the Bentfield home and said ‘In there’. A paramedic saw a lot of clotting blood on his right hand and asked if he had been stabbed and he said ‘No, I am alright’.”

Brett Rogers said he didn’t want to talk to police and said he didn’t live that address, adding, “my mate does”.

He was arrested on suspicion of murder at 11.45pm.

The court heard Ms Phillips received 14 blunt injuries as well as 41 stab wounds to her head, neck and torso. One penetrated her skull and caused bleeding in the skull.

She had defensive wounds to her left forearm and bruising to her cheek which indicated she had been kicked or stamped on, allegedly by a trainer connected to the defendant.

Mr Oakes, of Mountfitchet Road, Stansted, sustained 56 injuries to his head, neck and body, both stab wounds and blunt impact. His cause of death was head injuries.

Jurors were told by Mr Spence that Ms Phillips and Mr Oakes had been drinking and that would have “severely impaired their ability to resist any assault”.

The court heard that Brett Rogers was on licence at the time, having served a prison sentence for inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent on his father Peter Rogers in August 2012. When the defendant was released from jail in March 2015, he couldn’t return to live with his father, so went to stay at his mother’s.

Brett Rogers’s parents split in 2007 after 20 years and he previously stayed with his mother until 2010, when he moved in with his father.

Peter Rogers said that his son and former partner seemed okay just four days before she was killed. He also asked his son if he wanted to play golf earlier on July 22, but Brett Rogers replied: “No, not today, another day.”

Rogers was later treated in hospital for a cut.

A number of knives were recovered from a bin in the kitchen and pieces of broken knife handle from the living room floor. One knife had DNA of both victims and the defendant’s DNA on the handle, the prosecutor said.

“There’s no indication of the presence of DNA of any other person other than the defendant, Gillian Phillips and David Oakes on any of those items which is why the prosecution say you can rule out the possibility that these attacks were carried out by an unknown third party,” alleged Mr Spence.

“After his arrest and since then he has not said anything to police about what happened in the house leading up to the stabbings,” he added.

Mr Spence said Rogers was seen by three mental health professionals before he was interviewed. They concluded there was no evidence of either mental health issues or psychosis.

In 2010 Rogers had suffered from psychotic symptoms having taken cannabis and cocaine, the court heard.

The trial, which is expected to last two weeks, continues.

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