A body on the beach, a secret affair and an abandoned Ford Fiesta… the murder of Zsuzsanna Besenyei has resulted in one of the longest sentences ever handed down by a Jersey court – with her killer now behind bars, the evidence seen by the jury during his trial has now come to light.
Just over a year since Miss Besenyei’s body was discovered by a dog-walker at Stinky Bay, her ‘secret lover’ and later killer – 55-year-old Jamie Lee Warn – has this week been sentenced to life in prison for her murder, with a minimum term of 19 years.
Now, Express takes a closer look at the evidence that resulted in his conviction for murdering the Hungarian national and then taking steps to conceal his crime by continuing to text her phone after he knew she was dead, and lying to the Police about the nature of their relationship.
The prosecution’s case against Warn relied heavily on CCTV footage and mobile phone evidence – all of which was shown to the jury during the construction worker’s seven-day trial in the Royal Court earlier this year.
Pictured: The 55-year-old construction worker was sentenced to life in jail by the Royal Court.
After Warn’s sentencing, Acting Chief Inspector Craig Jackson - who led the investigation into Miss Besenyei’s disappearance and death – commented: “Zsuzsanna came to live in Jersey seven years ago, she had a good job, she had friends and her family thought she would be safe here.
“Warn went to considerable lengths to cover his tracks and avoid detection. The sentence… shows the gravity of the crime, and although nothing will bring Zsuzsanna back, we hope this result will go some way to helping the Besenyei family to heal and come to terms with life without Zsuzsanna.”
The Police have now released more material which was used as evidence against Warn during his trial including a 999 call that he made on the same day that the prosecution claimed he’d dumped Miss Besenyei’s body at La Pulec in the early hours during low-tide.
Video: The 999 call Jamie Warn made asking to speak to Police about Miss Besenyei's disappearance.
He told the Operator that he’d tried calling the non-emergency line (01534 612612) but he couldn’t get through, so he called 999 to tell them that he was “one of [Miss Besenyei’s] best friends,” and the he wanted to speak to Police as he’d had a call from her place of work.
When asked if he knew where his former colleague was, he replied: “No. I thought she was with her boyfriend. She was going to sort some stuff out with her boyfriend…”
He later made two statements to Police which contained false information about his relationship with Miss Besenyei and raised suspicion about her ex-boyfriend – statements which formed the basis of the two charges of perverting the course of justice which Warn was also convicted of in March of this year.
Video: The prosecution said Warn drove his victim's car around for days after he killed her and hid her in the boot of the Fiesta.
Much of the Crown’s case relied on CCTV footage which they said supported the fact Warn was driving Miss Besenyei’s car around for days after she was dead.
The post-mortem examination was, however, inconclusive and an exact time or date of death was never established. Neither were pathologists able to ascertain how exactly Miss Besenyei died.
It was claimed at trial that Warn killed his lover, Miss Besenyei, hid her in the boot of her own car – a black Ford Fiesta – for three days, before driving out to L’Etacq to dump the body and then abandoning the vehicle at La Haule to make it seem as though the 37-year-old had committed suicide.
The case against Warn also relied heavily on cell tower evidence which the prosecution said supported the narrative that his and Miss Besenyei’s phones were in roughly the same area and the 55-year-old continued to text his lover to give the impression she was still alive.
One of the clips shows Warn on a phone as he walks into town.
Video: Warn walking into town in the days following Miss Besenyei's disappearance (States of Jersey Police).
The pair met one another when they worked together at Les Charrieres Hotel in St. Brelade – Warn as a handyman and Miss Besenyei as a chambermaid – and they ultimately engaged in a sexual relationship with one another, despite Warn’s initial denial of this.
They exchanged flirtatious and explicit messages which were also shown to the jury during Warn’s trial.
Meanwhile, Advocate James Bell, representing Warn, indicated that his client is appealing against his conviction and that he has been granted permission to bring this appeal by the Royal Court.
Warn continues to deny that he had any part in Miss Besenyei’s death.
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