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Chilling CCTV footage shows a ‘callous and calculating’ triple killer walking with a pregnant woman just moments before he raped the mother-to-be, murdered her then dumped her body by a river.

Heroin addict Anthony Russell killed three people in a sickening six-day spree during the pandemic.

The 39-year-old has now been convicted of raping Nicole McGregor on October 26, 2020, having previously admitting murdering her and dumping her body in woodland in Leamington Spa.

Russell has also pleaded guilty to the murders of David Williams, 32, and his mother Julie Williams, 58, at separate flats in Coventry on October 21, 2020 and October 25, 2020 respectively.

The killer lured Miss McGregor, who was five months pregnant, to Newbould Comyn Country Park to sell her drugs on a chance encounter, prosecutors said. 

Russell assaulted her just hours after she had showed him a picture of her baby scan. He then strangled her with her own leggings so she could not complain to police about the rape, before dumping her body by a river with twigs, leaves and a piece of wood stuffed in her mouth.

Russell had also told the expectant father: ‘I bet you can’t wait for it to be born’ in the hours after she disappeared – knowing he had raped and murdered her – in a bid to cover his tracks.

The depraved killed was arrested in the village of Rolleston-on-Dove, Staffordshire, after one of the biggest manhunts in the history of West Midlands Police. 

He is expected to be jailed for life on Friday.

Chilling CCTV footage shows a ‘callous and calculating’ triple killer walking with a pregnant woman just moments before he raped her, murdered her then dumped her body by a river

Chilling CCTV footage shows a ‘callous and calculating’ triple killer walking with a pregnant woman just moments before he raped her, murdered her then dumped her body by a river

Chilling CCTV footage shows a ‘callous and calculating’ triple killer walking with a pregnant woman just moments before he raped her, murdered her then dumped her body by a river

Anthony Russell

Anthony Russell

Nicole McGregor

Nicole McGregor

Anthony Russell killed three people in a sickening six-day spree during the pandemic. The 39-year-old has now been convicted of raping Nicole McGregor on October 26, 2020, having previously admitting murdering her and dumping her body in woodland in Leamington Spa

Dramatic body-cam footage released by police shows the moment police smashed their way into a stolen car to detain Russell as he slept

Dramatic body-cam footage released by police shows the moment police smashed their way into a stolen car to detain Russell as he slept

Dramatic body-cam footage released by police shows the moment police smashed their way into a stolen car to detain Russell as he slept

Undated handout photo issued by West Midlands Police of David Williams

Undated handout photo issued by West Midlands Police of David Williams

Undated handout photo issued by West Midlands Police of Julie Williams

Undated handout photo issued by West Midlands Police of Julie Williams

Russell has also pleaded guilty to the murders of David Williams and his mother Julie Williams at separate flats in Coventry on October 21, 2020 and October 25, 2020 respectively

There was ‘no known link’ between Nicole McGregor and her killer: Police statement 

Detective Superintendent Shaun Edwards, who heads West Midlands Police’s homicide team, said: ‘This was a violent series of killings which happened over a period of just seven days, but which have left two families devastated for the rest of their lives.

‘We believe that David was killed due to Russell’s mistaken belief that he was in a relationship with his girlfriend. When Russell went to speak to Julie about her son’s disappearance, we suspect that he confessed to David’s killing. He then killed Julie to stop her from speaking to the police.

‘There’s no known link between Russell and Nicole, and it appears to be pure chance that he has encountered her.

‘The huge effort that went into tracking Russell down, including national media appeals, can’t be overstated. We worked around the clock to bring him to justice, and I’m glad that that is what has happened today.

‘The thoughts of everyone involved in this investigation are with the families of David and Julie, and Nicole, as well as the victims he robbed, today.’

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Dramatic body-cam footage released by police shows the moment police smashed their way into a stolen car to detain Russell as he slept.

Officers can be heard shouting ‘armed police, get your hands up’ as they handcuff him inside the vehicle after breaking the car’s rear windows.

Other chilling footage shows Russell walking alone with the pregnant victim at 7.45pm on October 29 just minutes before he raped and murdered her. He was also caught walking through the streets of Leamington glancing shiftily up at CCTV cameras while on the run from police.

The callous killer can be seen in further CCTV footage helping Miss McGregor’s boyfriend Christopher White look for his partner after he had already murdered her. He can also be seen walking through Coventry with Mr Williams on the day he was killed with the pair joking around with a shopping trolley and drinking together.

During her opening speech, prosecutor Zoe Johnson QC said of the footage: ‘This is the last time Nicole is seen alive.

‘Just three hours after meeting the defendant it appears that Nicole has agreed to walk with the defendant into Newbold Comyn.

‘We suggest that the defendant lured Nicole on to the Comyn, not for sex but more likely for drugs. The defendant murdered Nicole McGregor shortly after that image was captured, just hours after they had met.’

The court was told Russell, of Coventry, went on his ‘callous and calculated campaign of crime’ between October 25 and 29, 2020.

He first murdered Mr Williams at his flat by strangling him with a lanyard and leaving him with 81 external injuries.

Russell strangled Mr Williams’ mother in a ‘violent and sustained attack’ in which she was hit five times on the head and neck, prosecutors said. She had 113 separate injuries, and is believed to have been killed because she found out Russell had murdered her son.

Miss McGregor’s body was discovered in woodland in Newbould Comyn Country Park near the banks of the River Lea on October 29.

She had been lured there by Russell, who had befriended there while on the run for the other killings, before he raped and murdered her.

Miss McGregor suffered blunt force injury to her head and face as well as a bleed to the brain and died from ‘external neck compression as a result of ligature strangulation’.

Hours before she was killed, she had proudly shown Russell her baby scan during the chance encounter which led to her death.

Russell even callously helped Mr Williams’ mother and Miss McGregor’s partner look for their missing loved ones in a bid to cover this tracks despite knowing they were dead.

The callous killer can be seen in further CCTV footage helping Miss McGregor’s boyfriend Christopher White look for his partner after he had already murdered her

The callous killer can be seen in further CCTV footage helping Miss McGregor’s boyfriend Christopher White look for his partner after he had already murdered her

The callous killer can be seen in further CCTV footage helping Miss McGregor’s boyfriend Christopher White look for his partner after he had already murdered her

He was also caught walking through the streets of Leamington glancing shiftily up at CCTV cameras while on the run from police

He was also caught walking through the streets of Leamington glancing shiftily up at CCTV cameras while on the run from police

He was also caught walking through the streets of Leamington glancing shiftily up at CCTV cameras while on the run from police

He can also be seen walking through Coventry with Mr Williams on the day he was killed with the pair joking around with a shopping trolley and drinking together

He can also be seen walking through Coventry with Mr Williams on the day he was killed with the pair joking around with a shopping trolley and drinking together

He can also be seen walking through Coventry with Mr Williams on the day he was killed with the pair joking around with a shopping trolley and drinking together

Miss Johnson told the court previously: ‘Anthony Russell embarked on campaign of crime.

‘He murdered three people and raped one of his victims before killing her. He attacked another leaving that person with serious injuries and robbed two other people. All were vulnerable. All the acts of violence were in order to get what he wanted.’

The killer was eventually the subject of a national manhunt, and fled Leamington by robbing a 78-year-old man of his car.

Russell rung the pensioner’s doorbell asking for directions, and when the victim was distracted he hit him over the head from behind with a brick, leaving him with a fractured skull and a bleed on the brain.

The killer was arrested on October 30 after police spotted the stolen Ford C-Max parked on a road near Burton upon Trent, Staffordshire, and found Russell on the back seat.

While being booked into custody, he told officers: ‘I admit it, I did it.’

Detective Superintendent Shaun Edwards, of West Midlands Police, said after the case: ‘This was an appalling series of violent attacks.

‘At the heart of this are three people who have lost their lives and another three people who were subject to violent robberies. Each one of these were vulnerable, either due to mental health due to illness or age.

Other chilling footage shows Russell walking alone with the pregnant victim at 7.45pm on October 29 just minutes before he raped and murdered her

Other chilling footage shows Russell walking alone with the pregnant victim at 7.45pm on October 29 just minutes before he raped and murdered her

Other chilling footage shows Russell walking alone with the pregnant victim at 7.45pm on October 29 just minutes before he raped and murdered her

‘We believe that David was killed due to Russell’s mistaken belief that he was in a relationship with his girlfriend. His mum, Julie, was obviously concerned about David. She had not seen him. She went to Russell and asked if he had seen David, knowing that he was dead in his flat.

‘Russell had said he had not seen and helped look for David in another callous way.

‘When Russell went to speak to Julie about her son’s disappearance, we suspect that he confessed to David’s killing. He then killed Julie to stop her from speaking to the police in a violent attack leaving her dead in her house.

‘He knew there was a murder enquiry and then fled from Coventry and went over to Leamington.

‘There’s no known link between Russell and Nicole, and it appears to be pure chance that he has encountered her. He befriended Nicole McGregor and killed her and left her body in a parkland.

‘Again, in another callous way, he spoke to her boyfriend, who was looking for her, and helped him look for her – another callous way of covering his tracks.

‘Russell was extremely dangerous and we needed to arrest him as quickly as possible. This was a significant manhunt. One of the biggest West Midlands Police has run. We worked with Warwickshire Police and Staffordshire Police who subsequently arrested him.

‘We worked around the clock to bring him to justice, and I’m glad that that is what has happened today.

‘The thoughts of everyone involved in this investigation are with the families of David and Julie, and Nicole, as well as the victims he robbed, today.’

Source: dailymail

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