'˜Oddball' jailed for rape and murder of India Chipchase

A 52-year-old man convicted of raping and murdering a young woman he lured back to his squalid house after finding her outside a nightclub has been jailed for at least 30 years.

Steve Woliter and DS Kim Jackson of Northamptonshire police read a statement outside court. Picture: SWNS
Steve Woliter and DS Kim Jackson of Northamptonshire police read a statement outside court. Picture: SWNS

Edward Tenniswood was given a life sentence for killing India Chipchase after a Birmingham Crown Court jury took less than two hours to find him guilty.

Tenniswood promised to “get her home safe” after finding the 20-year-old in a drunken state outside NB’s nightspot in Northampton in the early hours of 30 January.

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But instead he attacked her, leaving Ms Chipchase with more than 30 injuries.

After killing his victim, Tenniswood, 52, told a jury he “cuddled up” to her lifeless body in an upstairs bedroom of his home and then sat and drank in a hotel bar for 22 hours until the police came to arrest him.

In court, he claimed the sex had been consensual and Ms Chipchase’s death had been down to his “over-eagerness” in bed.

The jury heard he kept cuttings of pictures beautiful women as “ornaments”, including fashion model Heather Stewart-Whyte.

He even claimed to have had a relationship with the model, who released a statement to say she had never met Tenniswood.

The jury rejected the account of a man described by his own lawyer as an “oddball” and, sentencing him, Mr Justice Saunders told him he would serve at least 30 years behind bars.

The judge told the court: “This was a terrible crime. It was committed because the defendant was determined to satisfy his own sexual desires on an attractive and much younger woman. It was a crime of utter depravity.”

In a statement read to court, the victim’s mother Sue Chipchase said her daughter “lit up a room”.

She added: “Her death has left a huge void in all our lives and her siblings are quiet and subdued without her.”

Mrs Chipchase said: “The actions of this man means we have been condemned to a life spent grieving for a child whose potential we shall never see.”

Her father Jeremy Chipchase, in a video statement played in court, said: “I sincerely hope there’s no possibility that another woman ever falls into the hands of my daughter’s murderer.”

His voice cracked with emotion as he said: “No other father will have to see their daughter’s body in the ­mortuary.”