‘Jealous’ man ‘drowned girlfriend in puddle’, Cambridgeshire court hears

A ‘jealous and angry’ man drowned his girlfriend in a 10cm deep puddle after fearing she was talking to ‘other blokes’, a court heard.

Monday, 3rd June 2019, 4:45 pm

Robert McWhir (25) is accused of pressing Marissa Aldrich’s face down in a pond as they rowed about her speaking to other men.

It’s alleged he received a call from a friend as he held her under the water and said: “I’m killing her, I’m killing her”.

A court heard when asked why, Mcwhir responded “she’s talking to blokes behind my back”, and groaning could be heard in the background.

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Police at the scene of the Marissa Aldrich murder in scrub land between Loves Way and Belland Hill in St Neots, Cambirdgeshire. Photo: SWNS

Prosecutor Peter Gair QC told Cambridge Crown Court: “The defendant, Robert McWhir, referred to by many witnesses you’ll hear as Bobby, is accused of murdering his girlfriend.

“Drowning her in a pool of water, which flows through Loves Farm housing estate in St Neots, Cambridgeshire. It is the Crown’s case.

“In the early hours the defendant and Marissa, who had been visiting friends nearby, were seen to argue.

“They left alone together on foot to return to the Marissa’s house.

“That route took them across a route where the pond and brook were and it was there where the defendant drowned Marissa.

“Pressed her face down into a pond containing water about 10cm deep.”

The court heard McWhir told his friends to “get to the wooden bridge now” where they allegedly saw him holding Miss Aldrich under the water.

They were said to have wrestled him out of the way and pulled the 5ft 2 mother-of-two on to the bank, where they called 999.

Miss Aldrich (29) was found to be in cardiac arrest but had no pulse and died after arriving at Hinchingbrooke Hospital on December 22.

A post-mortem found that she died as a result of drowning.

McWhir, of St Neots, previously pleaded not guilty to murder and today (Monday) appeared in the dock at Cambridge Crown Court wearing a dark grey tracksuit.

Mr Gair told the court that Miss Aldrich and McWhir had an “on-off relationship” and that he could be jealous.

McWhir had been served with a restraining order in 2017 after he smashed a window at Miss Aldrich’s flat.

However, the jury were told how Miss Aldrich chose not to enforce the order and continued to see McWhir.

On the afternoon of December 21, the victim told a friend she was going to make a “go of it” with McWhir.

Mr Gair told the court the pair spent the evening with friends at a flat and witnesses heard the defendant becoming “angry and agitated” throughout the evening.

The prosecutor described him as a “jealous man getting angry”.

Miss Aldrich and McWhir left the house just after 2am to walk back through the Love’s Farm estate to her flat.

At 2.14am one of the friends from the house party rang McWhir to let him know he had forgotten his tobacco.

He is said to have told the friend: “I’m killing her, I’m killing her” and “she’s talking to other blokes behind my back”.

The jury were told police were called moments after the 999 call and officers were deployed to find McWhir.

He was arrested after an officer in an unmarked police car saw McWhir knock on Miss Aldrich’s front door.

His clothes were said to be notably wet and it was claimed he asked police who he was meant to have murdered, saying he had “never heard of her” when the victim’s name was put to him.

Asked how Miss Aldrich got into the pond, he is said to have told detectives she was a “drunken idiot” who was “more than likely” scared of him.

McWhir previously pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice after calling a friend on a police custody phone in an attempt to get him to give a false name when making a statement.

The jury will be taken to where Miss Aldrich was found tomorrow and the trial will resume on Tuesday afternoon.