Headless woman had Bible quote in jacket pocket, court told

Mee Kuen Chong, 67, was found dead in Salcombe, Devon, in June last year.

17 October 2022

A devout Christian’s headless body was found near the Devon coast with a Biblical quote written on a scrap of paper in her jacket pocket, a court heard.

Mee Kuen Chong, 67, was found dead in woodland off Bennett Road in Salcombe, by holiday makers on June 27 last year.

Ms Chong’s fractured skull was found in undergrowth a few metres away from the body days later following an extensive search, the Old Bailey has heard.

The prosecution claim she had been dumped there by her alleged killer Jemma Mitchell, 38, during a 500-mile round trip from London.

Mee Kuen Chong court case
A screen grab taken from CCTV of Jemma Mitchell, 38, driving a car on Bennett Road in Salcombe, Devon on 26 June 2021 (Met Police/PA)

Giving evidence on Monday, pathologist Dr Deborah Cook said she arrived at the scene near the Salcombe estuary to examine the decapitated body shortly after 11pm on June 27 last year.

She told jurors: “It was apparent that the head and at least the first two bones that form the spine were absent.”

The larynx at the front of the neck was also missing, she said.

Ms Chong was wearing a Marks and Spencer jacket with various items in the pocket including a plastic wallet, Oyster card and business cards for a GP, dentist and evangelical church.

There were also small pieces of paper torn from a notepad with a quote from the Bible on them, jurors were told.

Ms Chong was also wearing a dress and strappy sandals with the handle of a purple handbag looped in one.

Inside the bag was a camera, a tote bag and a length of orange rope which the prosecution alleges matches some found at Mitchell’s home.

The prosecution alleged Mitchell murdered vulnerable Ms Chong at her house in Wembley, north west London, on June 11 last year then faked her will to get money to pay for repairs to her own home.

On June 26 last year, Mitchell drove a rental car to Devon, where it is alleged she deposited Ms Chong’s body.

The court heard how Ms Chong had a history of mental ill health dating back to 2015 when she was noted in GP records as having schizo-affective disorder and acute stress.

According to the records, she suffered an episode of mania with psychotic symptoms in 2017 but by the next year her condition had stabilised and she was discharged by community mental health team.

In May 2021, records indicate she had paranoid schizophrenia.

Former osteopath Mitchell, of Willesden, north west London, has denied murder and the trial continues.

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