A man accused of raping and murdering an escort in a north-east flat asked his friend for help on the day of her death, a court has heard.
Jurors at the High Court in Aberdeen yesterday heard Bala Chinda allegedly called a fellow student to ask for £300, before texting him saying “please help” and claiming he was facing an “emergency”. It came on the seventh day of the trial against the 26-year-old, who is accused of raping and murdering call girl, Jessica McGraa, at a flat on Union Terrace on February 11 last year.
It is alleged he inflicted blunt force trauma to her head and asphyxiated her before stealing a key and two mobile phones from the sex worker. He is further accused of disposing of his own handset in an attempt to defeat the ends of justice. He denies all the allegations.
Yesterday DC Richard Bruce took to the witness stand to discuss a police statement obtained from Srinadh Paladugu, a friend of Chinda’s, on February 22 last year. The court heard the pair had been studying on the same course at Robert Gordon University, and had gone on a night out together on February 10.
Mr Paladugu, who is from India, dropped out of his course in April last year, and could not be traced to appear before the court yesterday – despite the efforts of Interpol in his home country. Reading from the police report, advocate depute Paul Kearney, said Chinda had called Mr Paladugu on the morning of February 11.
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