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Killer hid victim under floorboards
A killer who concealed his girlfriend's body under the floorboards of his lounge is facing a life sentence after being found guilty of murder.
Jurors unanimously convicted Stephen Devesey, 21, after hearing how he lied to his victim's mother on the night of the killing in an attempt to cover his tracks.
A two-week trial at Birmingham Crown Court was told that Devesey killed 18-year-old Nicole Cartmell almost three weeks before her decomposing body was found at his terraced home in the Handsworth area of the city.
Devesey, who did not give evidence to the court, had submitted through his barrister that he had no involvement in his girlfriend's death.
Opening the case against him at the start of the trial, prosecutor Timothy Barnes QC claimed Devesey had repeatedly lied to police, Miss Cartmell's mother and other people about her whereabouts.
Alleging that Devesey killed Miss Cartmell by asphyxiating her shortly after she made a "frightened" 999 call on February 10 last year, Mr Barnes told the court: "What caused him to kill her on that day we do not know.
"When he had killed her, the defendant prised up some floorboards in the front room of his address and dropped the body into the cellar some 7ft below."
Jurors also heard that Devesey used his victim's bank card on four occasions between her death and the discovery of her body at his home in Whateley Road on March 2 last year.
After his initial arrest on suspicion of fraud in relation to the bank withdrawals, a search of Devesey's housing association property led to the discovery of Miss Cartmell's purse, driving licence and a coat she was seen wearing.
Miss Cartmell, from West Bromwich, was reported missing by her family on February 14 and was living with her mother when she disappeared after having disagreements with Devesey. Devesey, who had no previous convictions for violence, will be sentenced by Mrs Justice Thirlwall.