Ross McCullam left his victim heartless voicemail while trying to evade justice

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Ross McCullam’s attempts to cover up his cut-throat murder of Megan Newborough included a heartless half-minute voicemail left on her phone just three hours later – in which he giggled and professed supposed love for her.

Described in court as “contrived fakery for the ears of the police,” the voice message was followed by a direct conversation with a female officer in which McCullam claimed Megan left his home alive and had gone for a vanilla milkshake at McDonald’s.

McCullam, in “ice cold” exchanges with a Pc calling from his parents’ home as officers searched for Megan, even remarked of his victim’s disappearance: “It’s not like her to do this.”

Ross McCullam
CCTV captured McCullam changing his bloodstained clothing in Loughborough (Leicestershire Police/PA)

The 30-year-old left the property at about 9pm on Friday August 6 last year, dumped Megan’s phone minutes later, and then hauled her body over a stone wall next to Charley Road, Woodhouse Eaves.

CCTV showed the former catering student arriving at Loughborough College in Megan’s car at about 9.51pm, and spending around ten minutes methodically depositing various items of clothing, much of it heavily bloodstained, into nearby bins.

After changing his top beside the car, the footage shows McCullam walking calmly away to hail a taxi at about 10.30pm.

Less than an hour after leaving Loughborough, McCullam left Megan a voicemall in which he feigned embarrassment after saying “Love you” and giggled immediately after saying he “had a fun time earlier”.

McCullam said in the voicemail recorded at 11.27pm, which was played to the jury: “Hey up babe, It’s Ross. Just worried about you. You haven’t rang back or, you know, text me or anything.

“It’s probably nothing… Probably fell asleep. I am just worried that’s all. I had a fun time earlier. Anyway I will see you tomorrow. Love you… ooh… I didn’t say that. Oh ****.”

After searching for details of serial killers and watching porn on his phone in the ensuing hours, McCullam went back to Loughborough on Saturday August 7 for, in his words, “a few drinks” but not a “proper night out.”

Jurors were played a six-minute video recorded by the bodycam of Warwickshire Police Pc Mia Moore, during a call with McCullam played through a mobile phone switched to speaker mode.

Ironically, the call at around 7.45pm on Saturday was made from McCullam’s garage – where he later falsely claimed to have been sexually abused as a child.

During the call McCullam claimed to have no idea where Megan was, telling Pc Moore: “I have been trying to call her loads. She came on Friday for about an hour.

“Then she left about nineish and went to McDonald’s… said she’d give me a call or a text when she got home – she never did.”

After informing the police officer that he last saw the 23-year-old at 9pm the previous day, he went on: “I’m having a few drinks. She is HR at work, I work with her.

“We’ve been seeing each other for about a month. I was supposed to go round her house this weekend.

“Her mum and dad are out of the house. I’m supposed to be going round and she never turned up today. She was supposed to meet me at, like, twelve o’clock.

“All she said was she was gonna go to McDonald’s on the way home to get a vanilla milkshake. That’s it.”

Asked if he had heard anything at all from Megan, he answered: “Nothing at all.”

He then sighed before adding: “God. I’ve sent her about – it sounds really creepy – about 15 WhatsApp messages. She said she was going to call me when she got home or text me.

“She is lovely. I work with her. She’s a really nice person, I am really worried.

“I’ve known her for a couple of years. We started seeing each other I’d say more like three months ago. She’s bought a house in Ibstock and we was going to be a bit more serious, if you know what I mean.”

McCullam, who thanked the officer for her efforts and offered to come home in a taxi, then added: “I don’t know if you’ve spoken to the family, it’s not like her to do this.”

Pc Moore made a short search of McCullam’s rubbish-strewn bedroom, taking a photo of his erectile dysfunction medication, but the house was not sealed off as a potential crime scene to make sure the suspect was not deterred from returning home, the trial was told.

McCullam was then given a lift home by his father and went up to his room, where he was arrested shortly after 12.30am on Sunday August 8.

Further body-worn camera footage showed McCullam being cautioned on suspicion of kidnap and handcuffed, before telling a detective constable that Megan was no longer alive.

Speaking in a whisper in an apparent attempt to make sure his parents did not hear him from a nearby room, McCullam asks to put on socks, and then scratches his left ear for around 14 seconds, before telling the officer: “She’s in Woodhouse Eaves… Charley Road. In a layby.”

After being taken downstairs, to within feet of where he killed Megan in the living room, McCullam repeated the information about the location of her body.

Ross McCullam
Ross McCullam, seen in a custody image taken after his arrest (Leicestershire Police/PA)

Following the killer’s admissions, officers were sent to Charley Road but could not initially find Megan’s body in a remote location.

A helicopter was sent to illuminate the area and a police dog-handler found the victim’s body at 1.24am underneath bracken, where “it was visibly apparent to them that she was dead.”

During the trial, the prosecution said the evidence proved Megan was killed between 8.08pm and 8.49pm – the timings of her arrival at McCullam’s home and a text he sent a friend cancelling plans for later that evening.

Doorbell camera footage from Megan’s parents’ home in Nuneaton showed her leaving at 7.30pm, dressed casually after telling her parents she was going for a walk with McCullam and would not be late back.

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