A man on trial for the murder of Megan Newborough hinted to his boss that he had been raped as a teenager by one of Leicestershire's most notorious rapists and murderers, a court has heard. Ross McCullum is accused of murdering the 23-year-old human resources worker by strangling her at his home in Windsor Close, Coalville, on Friday, August 6, last year.
The 30-year-old lab assistant has pleaded guilty to her manslaughter but denies murdering Megan, who was a colleague of his at Ibstock Brick, in North West Leicestershire. His claim, which the prosecution does not accept, was that he "lost control" after a sexual encounter between the pair triggered an episode of post-traumatic stress disorder, (PTSD), linked to him having been abused as a boy.
On the eighth day of his trial, today, Wednesday, November 9, the jury heard the revelation that Stephen Beadman, who raped and murdered Measham schoolgirl Kayleigh Haywood in 2015, was allegedly among McCullam's abusers.
READ MORE: Kayleigh Haywood killer's death in prison stirs memories of crime which scarred county
In a horrific case which made national headlines, a crown court trial in 2016 head how the 15-year-old was brutally assaulted and killed by Beadman, who died last year and would have been five years older than McCullum. Kayleigh had been groomed online by his neighbour Luke Harlow, 23, who exchanged 2,643 text messages with the youngster.
She had spent the night at his flat in Ibstock on November 13, 2015. The following day, Beadman, then 28, was invited around and the pair plied Kayleigh with alcohol.
After being sexually assaulted by Harlow, the teenager had tried to flee the house. Beadman chased her down before raping her and killing her with a brick and then dumping her body in a farmer's field. Kayleigh's body, which had to be identified using dental records, was found five days later on the outskirts of the village.
Megan Newborough, McCullum's trial has heard, had struck up a relationship with the defendant after carrying out a data protection audit of the lab where the defendant was working as an assistant, last summer. They exchanged more than 3,500 text messages, many of which were extremely sexually graphic in nature and included increasingly violent and misogynistic content on McCullum's part.
The jury has heard that McCullum has a disturbing interest in 'domination' sex and porn, and required medication for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), something that caused him to suffer with erectile dysfuction.
The prosecution alleges Megan had driven to the defendant's address from her home in Nuneaton - anticipating some kind of sexual liaison - on the evening of her murder. But within 40 minutes of her arrival, she was dead. The jury has heard that McCullum strangled her before cutting her throat with a kitchen knife - to "make sure she was dead".
(Image: Leciestershire Police handout)
The Beadman revelation came today, when the defendant's boss at Ibstock Brick, lab manager Graham Fyson took the witness stand to give evidence. He said that he had struck up a rapport with McCullum over several months when the pair worked together in the lab and said they would often talk as they walked into work together.
Under cross-examination by John Cammegh KC, for the prosecution, Mr Fyson said that the defendant confided in him that he had been sexually abused as a child. "Yes, he told me that he had been raped as a child," he said. "This was about six months before Megan's death."
He explained that McCullum would reveal more information over time. Mr Fryson said the defendant reported being "goaded" into sexual behaviour by several older children on numerous occasions. He also talked about being raped by an older youth when he was 13 years old.
Mr Fryson told the jury: "I asked him at one point if he knew the individual who had raped him. He said there were three of them. One had run away but two remained. I asked again if he knew them. There was a long pause and he said 'Do you remember the murder of Kayleigh Haywood.
"I said 'yes'. He then gave me a name. I told him it sounded familiar. It wasn't until I got home and Googled the case that I realised who it was. The name he gave me was Stephen Beadman, who was the man who murdered Kayleigh Haywood. That's all he said and left it at that."
(Image: Leicestershire Police/PA Wire)
After killing Megan, the defendant, who did not have a driving licence, loaded her into her white Citroen C3 and dumped her partially-clothed body in thick undergrowth off Charley Road, a remote country lane near Woodhouse Eaves and Beacon Hill Country Park.
Prior to that, he had discarded her phone in Hermitage Road, Whitwick. He then left her car in the car park of Loughborough College, where the jury has been shown CCTV footage of the defendant disposing of Megan's boots, spectacles and other personal items, as well as bloody sheets and other incriminating evidence in nearby bins.
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Megan was reported missing by her family the following afternoon, Saturday, August 7, 2021, after she failed to return home. Her body was found in the early hours of the following day.
An inquest hearing held last year was told that preliminary tests found that Stephen Beadman died from "oxygen starvation to the brain" and a heart attack at Pinderfields General Hospital, in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, while in prison custody, on Thursday, April 8, 2021.
He was in the fifth year of a minimum 35-year prison sentence at Wakefield Prison for Kayleigh Haywood's murder at the time of his death, the circumstances of which were not belived to be suspicious. Beadman would likely have remained in prison until at least 2050 had he lived. Harlow was sentenced to 12 years in prison.
Ross McCullum's trial for the murder of Megan Newborough continues.