'He acted so calm and casual when my mum was dead in the downstairs toilet'

Maria Stubbings Credit: Family photo

The son of Maria Stubbings who was murdered in her Chelmsford home in December 2008 has spoken of how he spent the night watching DVDs with her killer, oblivious to the fact his mother's body was buried under a pile of clothes in the downstairs toilet.

Bengi Stubbings and his sister Celia Peachey were giving evidence at the inquest into her death. Leaving hand in hand, the court appearances don't get any easier for this brother and sister.

Both broke down in front of the coroner as they relived the weeks leading up to their mother's murder by ex partner Marc Chivers at her home in Chelmsford. He had previously been convicted of murdering his girlfriend in Germany.

Marc Chivers Credit: Essex Police

Celia Peachey spoke of her first impression of Marc Chivers and how he seemed a nice person, on the second meeting he came across as quite creepy. When she last saw her mother in November she said she was a shadow of herself and hugged Celia as if she didn't want to let go.

In the summer of 2008 Marc Chivers was arrested and remanded in custody for assaulting Maria, a fact her son Bengi was not aware of. He said Chivers had him wrapped around his finger, taking him and his friends out and letting them smoke cannabis.

He told the court that 2 days before he knew about his mother's murder he had spent the night at home watching DVDs with Chivers who claimed Maria was at a friend's house.

Essex police has been criticised for its handling of the case.

The inquest, which started last week, is expected to run until the middle of October and will hear from around 50 witnesses.

The family say they hope the mistales that led to this tragedy will never be repeated.