A man has been convicted at Birmingham Crown Court of murdering his former girlfriend. Stephen Devesey, 21, killed Nicole Cartmell in February last year and hid her body under the floorboards in his front room in Birmingham.
Her family last saw the teenager at lunchtime on February 10th last year. She was due back for a family party that evening but never came home again.
They now know she caught a bus to Devesey's house. She had been in an on/off relationship with him and had told her mother she wanted to end it once and for all. It's possible that's what she was doing when he murdered her.
When the killer was later caught on CCTV using her cash card, police went to his house to arrest him for fraud and that's when they found Nicole's body. By then she had been missing for almost three weeks.
During that time Devesey lied repeatedly to police, to social workers and to Nicole's mother, saying he had no idea where she was. He even offered to join in the search for her.
The main question during the trial was not whether Devesey killed Nicole but whether he could be held fully responsible. He claimed he was suffering from paranoid psychosis at the time which, if true, would have led to a conviction for manslaughter.
After hearing testimony from several psychiatric experts the jury was unconvinced by that defence and convicted him of murder.
There were gasps of relief from Nicole Cartmell's family as the verdict was read out. Devesey did not react at all.