Ross McCullam jailed for life for murder of Megan Newborough

Ross McCullam has been jailed for life with a minimum term of 23 years for the murder of his colleague Megan Newborough.

The 30-year-old lab technician strangled Newborough, 23, and cut her throat at his parents’ house in Leicstershire before dumping her in nearby woodland. Later, he left a voicemail on her phone professing his love for her to try to cover his tracks.

Sentencing McCullam at Leicester crown court on Friday, Judge Philip Head said the killing was “truly dreadful”.

Ross McCullum. Photograph: Leicestershire police/PA

He described Newborough as “stellar” and said: “It was her dreadful misfortune to become involved in a relationship with you. I regard you cutting her throat as a very substantial aggravating factor,” he said. “It was the truly dreadful and sustained way you ensured that intention to kill was achieved.”

McCullam had previously pleaded guilty to manslaughter, claiming his actions were caused by a loss of control inadvertently triggered by his victim, but he was unanimously convicted of murder on Monday.

The trial heard how McCullam claimed he strangled Newborough after he went into a “blind rage” set off by undiagnosed post-traumatic stress disorder caused by unreported childhood sexual abuse.

The pair met at work, where Newborough was a human resources adviser, and began an intimate relationship.

McCullam invited Newborough to his parents’ house in Coalville on 6 August last year, where he strangled her to death before cutting her throat.

He then mounted an elaborate cover-up in which he used Newborough’s car to dump her body in undergrowth nearby and changed his bloodstained clothes. He then texted her to say she was “amazing” and ask if she had got home safely.

Newborough’s older sister Claire, during her victim impact statement, told a crying McCullam in the dock: “I hope she haunts you.” She said McCullam’s denial of murder, which meant the case went to trial, had caused the family “seven weeks of hell”.

She said the family strongly believed he had tried to cut off Newborough’s head, as there were seven separate injuries to her neck. “This brutalisation of my sister’s body is something we will never be able to come to terms with,” she said.

“The definition of a monster is cruel, frightening and evil – and it is to my relief the defendant has been recognised as a monster. You are an unpredictable menace, a danger to women, obsessed with serial killers,” she told McCullam, adding he also seemed obsessed with his own notoriety.

Newborough’s father, Anthony, cried as he said the family had lost their “beautiful, treasured daughter Megan in such horrific circumstances”. He told the court: “We are a large and close family who have been ripped apart by one evil human being. It is like a horror film, but it is a true story, Megan’s story, our story.”

He said the killing had caused “so much pain and anguish” and the family struggled to cope with the fact that “Megan, in her last moments, would have been so frightened”.

“She was loved by so many and touched so many lives, and left a great gaping hole that can never be filled. She was our princess, and the defendant, with his evil hands, his strength, together with his evil mind, has taken her away from us for ever.”

Leave a Comment