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Graham Coutts




Kill Total:


Kill date:

14 March 2003

Kill Place:

Hove, Sussex


Sakes Rep


Victim: Jane Longhurst


6 November 1971




Old Bailey
Case No:  


Richard Hone


Philip Katz QC




External References





1991,  Coutts admitted to psychiatrists that he had enjoyed 'murderous thoughts' about women 'every day since being a teenager.'
He said he was aroused by the idea of strangling women and told doctors he was worried the fetish could lead to 'criminal behaviour.


14th March 2003, Music teacher Jane Longhurst made a phone call to her friend Lisa Stephens, Coutts who was the boyfriend of Ms Stephens answered the phone.

The two arranged to meet up to go swimming. Coutts drove to Shaftesbury Road in Brighton, to pick Ms Stephens up and took her back to his house, he persuaded her in for a cup of tea.

Once in the house he pounced.

He strangled her with a pair of his girlfriends tights, using a ligature so he could masturbate with his free hand while she was dying.

To Coutts this was a prize, and he did not want to be parted from the dead body, he stored her in a box in the garden shed for 11 days, until finally dragging her lifeless corpse in a box to a Storage company in Brighton.

14th March - Miss Longhurst's boyfriend,  Malcolm Sentance phones Jane's mobile but it is switched off
14th March - Mr Sentance rings police and reports Jane's disappearance
14th to 18th March - Police search for Jane and decide to treat her disappearance as a serious crime.


19th April 2003, A woman's burning body is found on Wiggonholt Common/.


20th April 2003, A  Post-mortem examination confirms the body is that of Jane Longhurst.


24th April - Coutts is arrested and struggles to answer detectives' questions
25th April - Coutts is released without charge
28th April - Police search the Big Yellow Storage Company
29th April - Coutts is rearrested and charged with murder


Tuesday 3rd February 2004, at his trial at Lewes Crown court Graham Coutts was found guilty of kidnapping, strangling with a pair of tights then after storing the body, setting fire to School teacher Jane Longhurst. Coutts denied murder instead saying it was a sex game that went wrong.

Coutts admitted hiding the body in a shed and then at a storage Company - The Big Yellow storage company.

He was caught on CCTV moving the body, and it was revealed at the trial that while the body was in storage he went to visit it on several occasions, presumably for sexual gratification. He was also caught on camera buying petrol which he put into a container on 19th April 2003. It was on that same day that the body was found alight in woodlands in west Sussex.

From the hard disk of his computer police were able to confirm that Coutts had visited many internet web sites about rape and murder, and subscribed to several pornographic web sites.

Wednesday 4th February 2004 at Lewes Crown court the jury found him guilty of murder, the judge sentenced him to life imprisonment with a recommendation he should serve a minimum of 30 years.

19th July 2006, Coutts murder conviction was quashed by the court of appeal, a new trial was ordered.


12th June 2007, New trial starts


4th July 2007, Coutts found guilty again.

Jury returns a guilty verdict with an 11 to 1 majority after 13 hours of deliberation.


5th July 2007, Coutts was sentenced once again to a life term, with a  minimum of 26 years.


Graham Coutts still maintains that this was consensual sex and that it was a sex game that went tragically wrong. He has a website, here >>





Graham Coutts


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