Sister ‘duped into sending money to murderers’

Edmonson is charged with Mr Chapman's murder. Picture: Facebook
Edmonson is charged with Mr Chapman's murder. Picture: Facebook
Share this article
Have your say

A SCOTTISH woman unwittingly sent money to her brother’s killers when they used his ­mobile to send her texts ­asking for cash, a court heard yesterday.

Maureen Sinclair received several messages from Kenneth Chapman’s handset saying: “I need a big favour. I need you to put some money in a friend’s account.”

Assuming the texts came from her brother, Mrs Sinclair wired a total of £75 to an account – not realising the bank details belonged to Christopher Sawyers, 35, who with his girlfriend Kirsty Edmondson, 23, had just murdered former history teacher Mr Chapman with a lethal dose of heroin, it was alleged.

At the time, Sawyers and former call-centre worker Edmondson had been using their 47-year-old victim’s flat in Eccles, Greater Manchester as their “exclusive preserve”, a Manchester Crown Court jury was told.

They took “selfies” of each other as his corpse lay nearby, it was claimed.

The victim’s body was found on 12 January this year – 15 days after he was killed.

Mr Chapman, a keen cross-country runner, was originally from Cocksburnpath, near Berwick.

At 16 he joined the army but left the ­forces in 1989 and went to Durham University to study history and politics.

He was employed as a history teacher in Manchester from 1994-2007 but lost his job when he was sent to prison for 18 month for a sexual offence.

He was released in 2009 and had been dating Edmondson after meeting her at a bus stop but she was also dating Sawyers.

Mrs Sinclair said: “Kenneth and I had always been very close siblings. It was a huge shock when Kenneth went to prison. He had been an upstanding member of society.

“Prison really affected him. When he came out, he worked in the Post Office but he couldn’t work for them again when they realised he had a criminal record.

“He didn’t talk much about his personal life but he had a girlfriend, Kirsty.

“I knew he didn’t want to be with her anymore but he would always care for her.”

Mr Chapman last texted his sister on 27 December.

Mrs Sinclair received a text from his phone on Hogmanay – four days after his death – which read: “Having trouble with Kirsty and don’t know what to do. When you text back I need a big favour. X.”

A text message exchange then read:

Kenneth Chapman: “I need you to put some money in a friend’s account as my internet is down.

“I’ll transfer back as soon as possible. Can you do it as he needs it right now?”

Maureen Sinclair: “Depends how much.”

KC: “Should I send details?”

MS: “Will phone RBS to see if they can do it.”

KC: “Yes you can do telephone banking. Big help for me. Thanks. He is a good friend. Try your best please.”

Sawyers denies murdering Mr Chapman and pleads not guilty to the manslaughter of a former accountant Peter Clark, 60, who died from a heroin overdose in 2012.

Edmondson denies murdering Mr Chapman.

The trial continues.