'Calculated' murderer guilty of killing love interest and colleague Megan Newborough

Phil Brewster reports from Leicester Crown Court

A lab worker has been found guilty of murdering his love interest and colleague Megan Newborough.

Ross McCullam, 30, strangled Miss Newborough, cut her throat and dumped her body in a Leicestershire country lane on Friday 6 August 2021, after inviting her over to his home for the evening.

McCullam, who had admitted manslaughter, claimed he could not be guilty of murdering 23-year-old Miss Newborough because he acted after a loss of control.

He sought to blame Miss Newborough, claiming he went into a "a volcano of rage" set off by undiagnosed PTSD caused by unreported childhood sexual abuse.

McCullam, 30, told a jury the incident was triggered when Miss Newborough allegedly prepared to give him oral sex at his parents’ home in Windsor Close, Coalville, Leicestershire, on August 6, 2021.

But he was undone by his own lies, including having told detectives in a police interview after his arrest that, not content with strangling her – he then waited nearly 10 minutes before fetching a carving knife and cutting her throat.

The house where McCullam lived with his parents and where he murdered Megan Newborough. Credit: ITV News Central

Miss Newborough and McCullam worked together at Ibstock Brick in North West Leicestershire.

Leicester Crown Court heard the pair exchanged more than 3,500 text messages, many of which were extremely sexually graphic and included violent and misogynistic content on McCullam's part.

It is believed Miss Newborough had driven from her home in Nuneaton to McCullam's home on Friday 6 August, to spend time together.

However, within 40 minutes of her arrival, she was dead.

McCullam attacked Miss Newborough in the living room of the home he shared with his parents before cutting her throat with a carving knife to "make sure she was dead".

Police at the scene where Megan Newborough’s body was found Credit: Matthew Cooper/PA

In a bid to cover his tracks, the trial heard how McCullam went on to bundle Miss Newborough into her own Citroen C3 and drove, without a driving licence, to a remote rural location near the village of Woodhouse Eaves, Leicestershire to bump Miss Newborough's partially-clothed body.

The court also heard, he had discarded her phone in Hermitage Road, Whitwick and left her car in the car park of Loughborough College, where CCTV footage was shown of the defendant disposing of Megan's boots and glasses, as well as bloody sheets and other incriminating evidence in nearby bins.

Miss Newborough was reported missing by her family on Saturday 7 August 2021, after she failed to return home.

Her body was found in the early hours of the following day.

McCullam, who was stood in the court dock to hear the jury, nodded twice as the verdict was read by the foreman.

Miss Newborough’s mother, father and sister, who had had to sit through a six-week trial hearing harrowing and upsetting evidence – much of it for the first time – cried and hugged one another at the back of court as the verdict was returned.

Judge Philip Head excused the jurors from further jury service for life, thanking them for their work on the case.

McCullam, who is in custody, will be sentenced at Leicester Crown Court on Friday.

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