A man who arranged for his ex-girlfriend to perform a pole dance for him before strangling her and setting her body on fire has been convicted of her murder.
Louise Rump, 29, had agreed to the dance for her former partner Habib Jackson - who referred to himself as her "Sugar Daddy" - in her flat in the village of Kensworth in Bedfordshire.
Her body was discovered at the foot of her bed by firefighters who had been called out by neighbours when they saw smoke coming from her flat in Plewes Court on 16 October 2020.
Jackson, 32, of Dunstable Road, Toddington, Bedfordshire, was found guilty of murder at St Albans Crown Court.
Jackson’s business partner and fellow security guard Christopher Hayward, also 32, of Fensome Drive, Houghton Regis in the county, was cleared of murder.
Prosecutor David Matthew said Jackson had made a “deal” with Ms Rump, with whom he had been in a relationship until a year earlier.
“She was going to dance for him in underwear he selected," he said. "That deal went badly wrong. The fire brigade found her dead. She had been killed by asphyxia."
He added: “The pathologist found she had been killed by asphyxia before her body was set on fire. There was signs of an attack with bruising on her face, her left hand, wrist and pelvis. The fire was a quite deliberate attempt to destroy the traces her attacker might have left,” he said.
Jackson was seen stopping by the side of the road, and dumped a jumper that had Ms Rump's blood on it and a cardboard box.
When fire crews entered the flat they found a pole dancer’s pole in the lounge and Ms Rump's body in the bedroom, where the fire had been lit.
'Can't you give me what I crave?'
They also found a plastic water bottle, said Mr Matthew, adding: "There is reason to think there had been petrol or some accelerant in it to get the fire going,” said Mr Matthew.
The jury was told Jackson referred to himself as Ms Rump's "Sugar Daddy" at times, and paid her to answer questions about her private life.
He wrote a message to her on 15 October, the day before she was murdered, pointing out it had been a year since they were together.
He went on: “Can’t you give me what I crave?” She replied: “No.”
When Jackson was questioned by the police the day after the killing he said they had an on-off relationship.
He denied he had been to the flat on the day of the killing ,but said he had been there on Thursday 15 February when they had a play fight and she had scratched his face.
Jackson will be sentenced at St Albans Crown Court on Wednesday.