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Man found guilty of woman's murder after third trial

Man found guilty of woman's murder after third trial

Friday 03 December 2021

Man found guilty of woman's murder after third trial


A jury has found a man guilty of murdering a Hungarian chambermaid and disposing of her body at Stinky Bay three-and-a-half years ago.

It was the third trial of Jamie Lee Warn, who had denied the murder of 37-year-old Zsuzsanna Besenyei, whose body was found at Stinky Bay on 16 May 2018.

The Prosecution's case - based on evidence gathered by Police during what was named 'Operation Duke' - was that Warn had been having a "secret sexual relationship" with Ms. Besenyei. After killing her, he kept her body in the boot of her car for three days, and had made internet searches on his phone seeking information about how he could cover his tracks.

Warn originally faced a two-week Royal Court trial in 2019 and was found guilty by a jury. He appealed successfully and was granted a retrial by the Court of Appeal.

In November 2020, he was found guilty by a jury following his retrial. 

Mr Warn appealed against his conviction for the offence of murder once again this year, and that appeal was allowed in July. His third trial began last week, and a majority of the jury found him guilty of murder this afternoon.

Following the conviction, Detective Constable Caroline Foord, who worked on the case, said: “We respected the Court’s decision to give Warn another retrial, but there was never any question in our minds about his guilt.

"We like to thank all the witnesses involved for their assistance in the case and our thoughts go out to Zsuzsanna’s family and close friends, who have lost their daughter, sister and friend.

"We recognise this has been a hugely difficult and distressing time for them and we hope this verdict gives them some form of closure.”

zsuzsannabesenyei.png

Pictured: 37-year-old Zsuzsanna Besenyei, Warn's victim.

During the most recent trial, Advocate Simon Thomas, prosecuting, spoke of how Warn then disposed of her body on a beach on the north west coast of the island when he knew it would be low tide, and drove her car onto the beach by La Haule slipway, to give the impression that she had committed suicide, as part of an "elaborate cover-up."

He said that during the week prior, Ms. Besenyei had been texting Warn asking him when he was going to give her money she had been expecting from him.

On 10 May, he said that she left her house after 18:00, driving to Warn's flat at Pomme D'or Farm in First Tower at around 18:30 - he illustrated this using CCTV evidence he said showed Ms. Besenyei driving there, as well text exchanges, and cell data showing the location of her mobile phone.

He said that the last e-mail she sent that night was at 19:30, and that this was "the last indication she was alive."

Advocate Thomas showed CCTV footage taken at 20:20 on the same night, involving a man he said was Warn walking into the First Tower Checkers buying hand sanitiser, in what he called the "beginning of the defendant's attempts to cover up what happened to" Ms Besenyei.

It was between Ms Besenyei's arrival, and this time, that the prosecution said Warn killed her.

Advocate Thomas also showed CCTV footage of what he told the jury was Warn driving Ms Besenyei's car into First Tower car park the morning after, where it had remained until the late hours of Sunday night/early hours of Monday morning, when he said Warn took the body out to dispose of it.

He said that having had an expert look at all CCTV footage of people approaching the car in the car park, the only person who was ever seen approaching it was Warn.

He told the jury that in the early hours of Monday 14 May, Warn's mobile phone connected to a number of cell masts which aligned to travelling north-west, and after this, to Guernsey cell sites.

During the trial, it was noted by an expert that one of the Guernsey cell sites could only be picked up from Stinky Bay.

Advocate Thomas also showed CCTV footage from that night of what he said was Warn driving to Stinky Bay and back to St Aubin, in a car that was identified by an expert in a number of shots as "consistent" with Ms Besenyei's car.

Again, cell site evidence was said to trace Warn's phone travelling back from the northwest of the island, via Les Quennevais, down past Somerville and into St Aubin at the same time.

Ms. Besenyei's car was later found on that beach, and her body was discovered at Stinky Bay on 16 May.

In his closing statement, Advocate Thomas said that Warn's "arrogance has been his undoing", and that he "unwittingly left a trail of evidence that proves he's guilty, and that he's guilty of murder."

In Warn's defence, Advocate James Bell argued that "there is no direct evidence of a killing and indeed from the post mortem, no direct evidence as to how she died."

This afternoon, an assize jury found Warn guilty by a majority, after six hours and 25 minutes of deliberation.

Warn has now been remanded into custody until 21 March, when he will appear in the Royal Court to be sentenced.

The trial was overseen by Commissioner Sir Michael Birt.

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