Elise Mason: Man 'strangled ex-partner at Chelmsford home before going to pub and massage parlour'

Elise Mason was found dead at the home of her former partner in Great Baddow, Essex.
Elise Mason was found dead at the home of her former partner in Great Baddow, Essex. Credit: Essex Police

A jealous man beat and strangled his former partner to death before going to the pub and then a massage parlour, a court has heard.

Mark Donovan, 39, is accused of murdering ex-girlfriend Elise Mason at the home they had shared in Great Baddow, Essex, in April last year.

Donovan, of Rothmans Avenue, handed himself into police and claimed he killed mum-of-two Ms Mason, 37, in self defence, and denies murder.

Prosecutor Andrew Jackson told the jury at Chelmsford Crown Court that Donovan had attacked Ms Mason with his fists and a table lamp.

He said: “On that afternoon, Mark Donovan murdered his estranged partner Elise Mason at the home they previously shared together in Rothmans Avenue.

"After her body had been found in the house, an examination showed she had 70 sites of injury.

“These injuries had been caused by repeated use of fists and a weapon. Close to her body was a broken and bloodstained table lamp.

"The assault to her head had resulted in a brain injury and she had been strangled as well."

Police at the scene in Rothmans Avenue, Great Baddow, after the death of Elise Mason. Credit: EssexLive/BPM

The prosecution claim Donovan did not call the emergency services, but instead called his grandmother before ringing a taxi to take him to a pub.

Mr Jackson told the jury that Donovan had a drink at the bar before disposing of Ms Mason's phone in the gents' toilets and then taking a taxi to Romford for a massage.

Mr Jackson said after Donovan handed himself into the police he claimed to have done “the worst thing”.

The prosecution claim Donovan acted out of jealousy and an "inability to accept rejection" after Ms Mason ended the relationship.

They reject claims that Donovan was being emotionally abused and reacted in self-defence to his partner who had been “having an affair”.

The trial, which is expected to last a month, continues.

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