A cagefighter murdered his teacher ex-partner after he blackmailed her about a sexual relationship she was having with a 15-year-old boy, a court heard.
Jealous ex-convict Paul Robson, 50, carried out a vicious attack on Caroline Kayll, 47, and her teenager lover after he ‘snooped and prowled’ outside her home in Linton, Northumberland, last November, Newcastle Crown Court heard.
The case has been heard throughout the week but can only be reported now after a judge lifted reporting restrictions following the completion of the evidence given by the teenager.
Robson may have stamped and kicked on her, leaving her with unsurvivable brain injuries
, chopped off her hair in clumps, cut up her clothes and slashed her buttocks, jurors were told.
Injuries to her eyes and neck bruising indicated she may have been strangled, the court heard.
Robson also repeatedly attacked the boy with scissors and a meat cleaver, sprayed them both with ammonia and stole their phones – later updating her social media, pretending to be her, while he was on the run, jurors were told.
Robson, a former MMA fighter, denies murdering the former prison officer – with whom he had a clandestine relationship while he was behind bars in HMP Northumberland – blackmail and attempting to murder the boy, who cannot be identified for legal reasons.
He claims it was the boy who attacked Mrs Kayll – something the teenager denied when he was cross-examined.
Robson and Mrs Kayll, who was separated from her prison officer husband, had lived together in Linton but split up weeks before the murder, and he found out she had started a relationship with the boy, whom she said in texts that she loved.
Nicholas Lumley QC, prosecuting, said Robson then had a hold over her, saying: ‘He knew things about her which she would not want to be made public.’
She was to confide in a friend that Robson was blackmailing her for £35,000 and that her ex was ‘going to ruin her’ and tell her school, the jury heard.
And in a period of just 10 days in November, she transferred £29,000 to Robson and took out a £10,500 loan, having previously been solvent.
Days later, Robson sent a series of messages telling their former neighbour about Mrs Kayll’s relationship with the boy, and was ‘losing his rag’, Mr Lumley said.
On November 15, he drove three hours from Glasgow to Linton, having bought a locksmith’s bar, a magnetic GPS car tracker, screwdrivers, pliers, a wrench and the ammonia which he decanted into a washing up bottle.
The powerfully-built defendant wore heavy boots and CCTV showed him ‘prowling’ outside her house, the court was told.
Witnesses heard a female voice shout ‘get out’ and later that evening Robson knocked on his former neighbour’s house to say ‘Caroline was in a bad way’, Mr Lumley said.
Nurse Barbara Lee immediately went round and she told the court she saw lots of blood and hair in the house, and found Mrs Kayll face-down.
Also in the house was the teenage boy, who was in shock and was vomiting blood, ‘scared and frightened’, she said.
Mrs Lee attempted CPR until police and paramedics arrived, and Mrs Kayll was taken to hospital in Newcastle where tests showed her brain was catastrophically injured.
Robson stole his two victims’ phones leaving them no way to call for help, the court heard.
‘The actions of a vindictive man, but a jealous man as well,’ Mr Lumley said.
Robson wanted to use their phones to find out what they had been saying to each other, and posted messages on her Facebook account about the affair with the schoolboy, Mr Lumley said.
Robson also emailed her ex-husband – posing as Mrs Kayll – while she was on a life-support machine in hospital, the court heard.
Estranged husband Ian Kayll told the court receiving the email was ‘quite chilling’.
When Robson was arrested and interviewed, he did not answer detectives’ questions but in a prepared statement said he was ‘broken’ by her death and claimed someone attacked him when he visited her home.
Mr Lumley told jurors the way Robson and Mrs Kayll got together was ‘a little unusual’, saying their relationship behind bars had been secret and ‘clandestine’.
She had worked as a prison officer and then prison teacher and separated from her husband in 2018.
Mrs Kayll and Robson ‘resumed’ their relationship ‘in the outside world’, the prosecution said, when he was released in Autumn 2018 – but they split in 2020, leaving her upset.
Mr Lumley told the jury her subsequent relationship with the 15-year-old was against the law, and she told ‘white lies’ to hide the truth.
Under cross-examination the boy agreed they had argued on the day she died over her plans to meet a male friend.
Mrs Kayll texted him: ‘There’s no-one else, I love you.’
James Mulholland QC, defending, asked the teenager a series of questions, suggesting the boy had attacked Mrs Kayll, all of which he denied.