Cleaner accused of killing two girlfriends awaits jury verdict

Robert Trigg was yesterday found guilty of two killings. Picture: Eddie Mitchell
Robert Trigg was yesterday found guilty of two killings. Picture: Eddie Mitchell

A jury has retired to consider if a Worthing cleaner is guilty of killing two of his former girlfriends.

Robert Trigg is accused of murdering 52-year-old Susan Nicholson in April 2011 and of the manslaughter of 35-year-old Caroline Delvin in March 2006.

Trigg, 52, told his trial he woke to find Miss Nicholson dead on the sofa, five years after he claims he woke up to find Miss Delvin dead in bed.

The jury were sent out this afternoon to consider their verdict.

In both deaths, at different addresses in Worthing, jurors were told Trigg failed to call the emergency services straight away after finding both women dead.

Miss Devlin’s son told the trial how Trigg led him into his mother’s bedroom to discover her body on March 26, 2006.

Mr McKenna, then 14, said he ‘panicked’ and ran next door to alert his neighbour Alan Jones, who dialled 999.

He said he partially covered his mother’s body with a sheet to spare her dignity.

Miss Nicholson’s body was found on a sofa at her flat in Rowlands Road, Worthing, on April 17, 2011.

Trigg claimed he accidentally suffocated the 52-year-old by rolling on her in his sleep.

Miss Nicholson’s neighbour Hannah Cooper, who called 999 after her death, told the court her relationship with Trigg was ‘volatile’.

Miss Cooper said: “Rob seemed to come across very violent. It was almost as if she was afraid of him.”

Prosecutor Duncan Atkinson QC said there were ‘significant similarities between the two deaths’.

Earlier this week Trigg refused to take the witness stand, forcing his defence counsel Sally Howes QC to tell jurors it is ‘his right to do so’.

She said: “We should all be grateful we live in a country where the burden of proof is on the prosecution.”

She pointed out Trigg answered police questions at the time of the two deaths, and gave evidence at the inquest into the death of Miss Nicholson.

The defence added: “The causes of death are quite different and we are not dealing with a pattern of killing where the killer left a hallmark.”

The jury was told former chef Trigg had a history of violence against previous partners in a bad character application.

Referring to the application, the defence said: “Does that really show a man who is a jealous, controlling, possessive, dangerous man predatory to women, who when he doesn’t get what he wants turns to punching?

“Or does this signal to the background of alcohol abuse?

“Where is the evidence of jealous, controlling and possessive behaviour? Or is it a more evidence of a drunken slob?”

She said examples of bad character were ‘a small amount of incidents over a lengthy period of time’.

In her closing statement she said: “The sudden and unexpected death of Caroline Devlin and Susan Nicholson was tragic for them and terrible for the families.

“But nothing will bring them back. It is time to draw the line and put these matters to rest.”

Trigg denies one count of murder and one count of manslaughter.

The trial continues.