‘Weapon’ that killed Natlie Hemming was a fake Faberge egg

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Paul Hemming has told a murder trial jury how he killed his partner Natalie by hurling a £1,000 immitation Feberge egg at her after she told him she had slept with another man.

Hemming, 43, said the heavy egg, which was made of jade, struck Natalie on the head and caused her to fall on to the corner of their coffee table in the lounge.

He claimed she ended up on a rug by their sofa and when he got to her he realised she wasn’t breathing and was dead.

Mr Hemmng told told the jury at Luton Crown Court: “I couldn’t believe I had done it. I just thought sh**, I’m in trouble. How am I going to explain it to the kids upstairs? So then I thought I am going to cover this up.”

Asked why, he replied “Because I knew I had killed her.”

He then told the court how he wrapped the body of 31-year-old Natalie in a blanket and carried her out of their home while their children were asleep upstairs.

He loaded the body into his people carrier car before driving for 30 miles in the dead of night to a wooded area near Hemel Hempstead.

Hemming said he stripped Natalie’s body in the car and then dragged her naked corpse by her feet into the undergrowth where he left her face down under the trees.

Her badly decomposed remains were discovered three weeks later.

The prosecution allege he killed Natalie on the night of Sunda,y May 1, at the home they shared in Alderney Avenue, Newton Leys in Milton Keynes.

The jury have heard how her nine-year relationship with Hemming was in trouble and Natalie had told him she wanted to leave him for another man.

Twenty four hours earlier she had checked into a hotel in St Albans with work colleague Simon Dennis. They spent the night together and had sex for the first time.

Hemming told the court he had met Natalie, who was already the mother of a young daughter by a previous relationship, in 2007 and they began living together.

He said they briefly separated in 2010 and 2013 and they had two children of their own.

The court was told there had been two previous “incidents” during the relationship involving the police.

In the first in 2007 Natalie had made a statement to police after an argument with Hemming during which he had thrown her mobile phone at her which struck her on the head.

He agreed it was because he had been jealous about her contact with other men.

In the second incident in 2013 the court heard he had poked her in the eye and struck her over her head with a bottle.

Today (Monday) Hemming went into the witness box and agreed with defence barrister David Jeremy QC that he had been lying to his family, friends, the police and his own children since the beginning of May when he had been arrested

Asked by his barrister why it had taken so long for him to admit what he’d done he replied: “I was very ashamed of what I did. I was ashamed about what happened to Natalie - I was very confused.”

He said he had tried to “cover it up” and he had been worried about their children.

Asked by his barrister how things had been between him and Natalie in the week before her death he said she had told him someone at the Mercedes dealership in Milton Keynes where she worked had told her he liked her.

He said he had asked her if she was having an affair with the man and she had told him she wasn’t.

That week he said there were arguments between them about “splitting up” and he obtained a photo on his phone of his rival Mr Dennis.

Mr Hemming admitted to the jury he was “heartbroken” at the prospect of splitting up with Natalie but he denied claims he had been violent towards shortly before her death.

In the witness box he claimed he, Natalie and their three children had been due to go out for a meal together on the Bank Holiday Monday (May 2) so that they could try and “re bond”.

He said Natalie didn’t return home from her Saturday night out with Mr Dennis until around 4pm on the Sunday afternoon.

He said she wasn’t very talkative and added: “I knew something was wrong...Eventually she admitted she had been out with Simon Dennis that night and spent the whole night with him. She said she had spent the night at his house.”

Asked by Mr Jeremy QC how he felt knowing she had “slept”with someone else, he replied: “I felt panic that I was going to lose her.”

He said he told her it didn’t matter and they should leave it in the past and move on.”

But he then told the court how Natalie suddenly said to him: “I’m getting the kids up, I’ve had enough. You’ve had your chance.”

He said she told him he hadn’t been as “loving” as he should have been and then told him “and someone else is.”

Hemming said he was “confused and upset” and didn’t want to lose the children.

“I said you are not going to take the children. If you want to go then go, “ he told the court.

He said they both stood up from the sofa and began to grapple with one another.

“I was trying to stop her from going upstairs because I didn’t want her to take the childen,” he said.

He told the jury he picked up the immitation Faberge egg that was made of jade and heavy “like a rock”.

He said he had bought it for £1,000 in Taiwan.

Hemmng told the court: “I wanted to get out of the door first so I could stop her getting the children. I aimed it at her. I wasn’t thinking how hard I was going to throw it. It happened in a split second. I didn’t think it hit her, but I realised it did.”

He said he was a metre and half from Natalie when he threw it and it struck her on the head, causing her to fall on to the coffee table.

Asked what had been in his mind when he hurled the egg he replied: “I have no idea what was in my mind”.

He said he left the house and got rid of the car seats in their car so that Natalie wouldn’t be able to drive away with the children.

It was when he returned to the house and discovered she was still lying on the floor in the lounge that he went over to her and realised she was dead.

He said he panicked as he checked her for signs of life.

Asked by his barrister if he had intended to kill her, he replied, “No”.

Asked if he had considered trying to get her medical help he answered: “No, I thought she was dead.”

Hemming denies murder but has pleaded guilty to her manslaughter as well as a further charge of preventing the lawful and decent burial of a dead body.

He has also admitted a charge of obstructing a coroner in the execution of his duty by “concealing” Natalie’s body in the wood in Hertfordshire.

Case proceeding