Stacks of serial killer books, severed dolls heads and disturbing latex masks were what greeted the murder victim as she stepped into her killers’ home.
Julia Rawson met one of her killers in a bar but had no idea about the flat of horrors he shared with his boyfriend, and where she would be killed.
The 42-year-old victim was lured to the home in Mission Drive, Dudley Port, by horror-obsessed Nathan Maynard-Ellis, 30, after a chance meeting at the Bottle and Cork pub in May 2019.
Julia, the jury heard, was a lesbian who a former partner said was sometimes “flirtatious” with men while drunk.
The warehouse worker could not have known that she was entering a “flat of horrors” which Maynard-Ellis shared with his 25-year-old boyfriend David Leesley, the court heard.
Karim Khalil QC, prosecuting, said that the tiny flat was crammed with stuffed creatures, snakes in a tank and many gory face-masks of characters from horror films that Maynard-Ellis had made.
And disturbing images – which have been shared by West Midlands Police – show hoards of Chucky Doll figures, a swathe of serial killer books and bizarre baby doll heads.
A variety of tools, including axes and knives, can also be seen hanging on the wall of their home.
Mr Khalil QC told Coventry Crown Court that Maynard-Ellis had suffered from mental health problems and had harboured dark thoughts that have focused mainly on the sexual assault of women and their violent killing.
The jury also heard that sadistic Maynard-Ellis had written diary entries and stories about his sexually violent fantasies and collected newspaper clippings and books about serial killers.
He also had two sexualised violent horror films, called Nekromantic 1 and Nekromantic 2 – which depict images of decapitation and necrophilia – in particular, a man having sex with a female corpse.
A month-long trial at Coventry Crown Court was told Julia Rawson’s body was cut into pieces and dumped in a variety of places – including a canal towpath – by the pair.
Mr Khalil said the killers did not panic during the gruesome dismemberment.
They burned their blood-stained clothes, ripped up carpets and disposed of them at the tip – showing no signs of the wicked act they had just committed.
He said: “It doesn’t take much imagination to imagine the appalling scenes that must have unfolded in their flat as Julia was dismembered.
“But neither man panicked during that dismemberment and neither man panicked afterward – quite the opposite.
“Everything they did thereafter showed them to be acting together and doing everything necessary, together, to hide the horrific acts from being discovered.
“They put Julia’s dismembered body parts into plastic bags. Mostly under cover of darkness, they walked, together, from the flat along the nearby canal, and hid the bags in separate locations. They obviously hoped those body parts would never be discovered.”
Both men denied murder – with Maynard-Ellis also denying counts of rape, attempted rape and making threats to kill relating to historical allegations made by a woman following his arrest last year.
But they were both found guilty and could face life behind bars.
Maynard-Ellis was today found guilty by a jury at Coventry Crown Court of the murder of Julia Rawson.
Jurors also convicted Maynard-Ellis’ boyfriend, David Leesley, of murdering Ms Rawson.
Maynard-Ellis was also found guilty of four counts of rape, one of attempted rape and making threats to kill relating to historical allegations made by a woman following his arrest.
Both defendants had admitted perverting the course of justice and concealing a body after the dismemberment of Ms Rawson’s remains in May last year.
Following the verdicts, delivered after around seven hours of deliberations, Mr Justice Soole adjourned sentence and thanked the jury for their diligent and careful consideration of the case.
The judge told the jury: “It has been a very demanding case because of the subject matter; I am very conscious of that.”
Detective Inspector Jim Colclough told BlackCountryLive: “This was a chance meeting between two people in a pub.
“Julia did absolutely nothing wrong on that day – it was extremely unfortunate that their paths crossed.”
He added: “It was evident from within the flat that it was principally Maynard-Ellis, but clearly he’d been partners with Leesley for a significant number of years.
“There was a great interest evident on bookcases and DVD racks, with regards to serial killers.
“Forensic science police investigation methods and other disturbing material and present in quite huge quantities.
“Thankfully crimes of this nature are rare and it is a tragic case.”