Accused's mum 'didn't realise' Longley was dead

Last updated 07:19 16/05/2012
Emily Longley
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EMILY LONGLEY: Found dead at the home of her on-off boyfriend Elliot Turner in Bournemouth.

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The mother of the man accused of murdering Emily Longley has told the court that she called her husband before an ambulance as she did not believe the teenager was dead.

Anita Turner took the witness stand overnight to give evidence in the case which has embroiled her family.

Her son, Elliot Turner, is accused of murdering Longley, an aspiring model. The 17-year-old was found dead in Turner's bed on May 7 last year.

Anita and her husband Leigh Turner are charged with perverting the course of justice.

Anita, 51, told the Winchester Crown Court overnight that Longley often stayed at the family home while she was dating her son, and was often hard to wake, the Daily Echo reported.

She recalled at least three occasions when the teenager was difficult to rouse and one where it had taken 25 minutes to wake her because she had been drinking the night before.

Anita told the court that when Longley did not wake on the morning of May 7 "I didn't think anything at all".

"I called her name. Emily was asleep with the duvet (on her). She didn't wake up so I just tapped on the duvet. I called, 'Emily, Emily, wake up, wake up'. She didn't wake up."

Anita then made a cup of tea and tried to get Longley to sip it, but said the teenager's mouth wouldn't move.

"I called Elliot and we were both trying to wake her - we kept shaking her.

"I said, 'there is something really wrong - she does not move'.

"He (Turner) said, 'I think she got a terrible, terrible headache last night'.

"I didn't know what to do. I called my husband."

When asked why she did not call an ambulance, she said that at that point she did not realise Longley was dead.

She then peeled an orange and held it under her nose, hoping the aroma would wake her.

Anita was asked, under cross-examination, if she thought Longley had ruined her son's life. After a six-second pause she replied "no".

She told the court that she knew nothing about a letter that her husband is accused of discovering and destroying.

Her husband, Leigh Turner, told the court yesterday that he had found a letter Turner had written to his mother but didn't know what was in it. He admitted he tore it up as he "feared the worst" about what it might say.

When asked if her son told her he had ended Longley's life, Anita said "no".

Turner pleaded guilty earlier this week to an amended charge of attempting to make his mother change her story.

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Anita and Leigh, however, deny the charges against them.

Anita said that she removed a family friend's jacket from Turner's bedroom when it was a crime scene, but that police had seen her do so and she did not believe it was an attempt to pervert the course of justice.

She told the court that Longley had health and emotional problems stemming from the time she spent in New Zealand and that she had confided in her.

Through tears she said that she had promised Longley's grandparents, who the teenager was living with, that they should not worry when she was staying at their Bournemouth home.

Friends of Longley and Turner have said that the pair had a volatile relationship. Turner has admitted that he threatened to kill Longley 10 - 15 times but that he didn't "literally" mean it.

The prosecution alleges that Turner strangled Longley in a jealous rage.

He told paramedics and police at the time that Longley had attacked him and he had defended himself, but he made no further comments during police interviews.

He told the court that he briefly held her by the throat for several seconds the night before her body was found, before writing his mother a note and then returning to bed where he fell asleep next to Longley.

When he woke the next morning he found her unresponsive.

It is alleged that when arrested he had his bags packed and his passport in his pocket.

Police bugged the family home and say they recorded Turner and his parents "fabricating evidence" and discussing their concerns about lying to the police.

Longley was born in Britain but lived in New Zealand from the age of nine. She had returned to Britain to live with her grandparents and to study when she met Turner, who worked in his dad's jeweller's shop.

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