A French man is standing trial at Chester Crown Court accused of killing his housemate, whose body was found buried in ‘a man-made tomb’ inside an Ellesmere Port outhouse  last year.

Sebastian Bendou, 36, is charged with the murder of Ryanair cabin steward Christophe Borgye, in 2009.

Mr Borgye, who was 36 at the time of his death, died after being hit with a clawhammer between eight to 10 times to the head.

His body was discovered wrapped in a duvet cover and tarpaulin, entombed in a cement structure inside the outhouse on Hylton Court on May 13, 2013.

Police at the scene in Hylton Court, Ellesmere Port in May last year
Police at the scene in Hylton Court, Ellesmere Port in May last year
 

The jury of six men and six women heard that Bendou, who has admitted to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility due to mental illness, telephoned police on May 13 last year and told officers that he was responsible for the death of Mr Borgye four years earlier.

In a police statement written by Bendou on May 13, he claimed Mr Borgye came at him with a large kitchen knife while they were in the kitchen on the morning of April 23,  2009, and that he picked up a hammer from the table and hit him three times to the head to stop him.

He wrote: “I was very scared. I  was shaking and I was sick. I  did not phone the hospital or the police because I didn’t know what would happen to me. I  knew he was dead. I put him in the shed and covered him in cement.”

He went on to say that he was confessing now because he ‘felt  it was too much’ for his mind and he ‘wanted some peace’.

Bendou showed police where the body was hidden that same day.

Prosecuting, John McDermott said police found a ‘curious construction’ inside the outhouse, comprising a low brick wall with a concrete lid.

Mr McDermott described it as a ‘man-made  tomb’.

Bendou was originally charged with two others in connection with the death of Mr Borgye.

Dominik Kocher, 35, was found guilty of murder and Manuel Wagner, 26, was acquitted  of assisting Kocher and of preventing the lawful and decent burial of a dead body at an earlier trial.

Bendou, Wagner and Mr Borgye had lived together in Hylton Court since July 2008 and Kocher lived across the road with his wife and children.

The court heard that Bendou and Wagner paid their wages into Kocher’s bank account, while Mr Borgye paid some but not all of his wages into it.

Mr McDermott described Kocher as a ‘leading  light’ in the friendship group and said that ‘the defendant acted on his instructions but he did so with his eyes open’.

Mr McDermott added that Mr Borgye, who he said appeared to have been ‘a conscientious worker’ and was ‘doing well’, had been due to transfer to Belgium - continuing to work for Ryanair – on June 1, 2009.

Igors Visockis, a colleague of Mr Borgye’s at Ryanair, reported him missing to the police on May 17, 2009.

Bendou told police at the time that he hadn’t  seen Mr Borgye for six weeks, while Kocher told officers their friend had gone travelling, taking only his address book with him.

Mr McDermott told the court that Bendou,  who has been residing in a secure psychiatric unit in Merseyside since his arrest, revealed to psychiatrists that Kocher had told him an elaborate story about Mr Borgye being a spy and that Americans had ordered him to be killed.

Mr McDermott said there is no dispute between psychiatrists that Bendou suffers from mental illness, but added that ‘the fact that a  man suffers from a mental illness does not mean that he is not capable of murder’.