Alexandra Kovacs trial: Murder victim's cries for help were ignored by flatmates

First published in News
Last updated
Times Series: Photograph of the Author by

Flatmates ignored screaming and calls for help the night a man is alleged to have murdered his lover before hiding her naked body in a suitcase, a court has heard.

Laszlo Gyarmati, of Station Road, Finchley, has pleaded guilty to manslaughter, but denies murdering 25-year-old Hungarian national, Alexandra Kovacs.

The jury at Central Criminal Court heard from the prosecution this afternoon, as Mr Gyarmati watched from the dock in jogging bottoms and a grey sweat top.

Jonathan Rees, for the Crown Prosecution Service, told the jury Mr Gyarmati, 29, and Miss Kovacs went for dinner at Sam’s Chicken in Hendon Central before going back to the first floor room she rented in Lee Road, Mill Hill East, last July.

The jury was told it is thought the pair had sex before Mr Gyarmati killed Miss Kovacs, who used to work for a bespoke t-shirt company in Finchley.

He said one of her flatmates heard a “scream”, while another heard a “muffled and distant” voice calling “help, help”.

Mr Rees said: “Despite the fact that she cried for help and those cries were heard by some other residents, none of them went to her assistance.”

One flatmate was described as being “scared” and locking herself in her room.

A post-mortem report said the most probable cause of death was compression to the neck, and evidence taken from Miss Kovacs’s bedroom included blood on the floor, and some splattered on the wall above the bed.

The prosecution went on to claim Mr Gyarmati folded Miss Kovacs’ naked body into the foetal position and put it in a large, black suitcase belonging to one of her housemates before dumping it in bushes in Dollis Valley Green Walk.

On the way, Mr Rees said Mr Gyarmati disposed of a Tesco plastic bag containing some of Miss Kovacs’ clothes, including a T-shirt, the dress she was wearing when the pair went for dinner, a pair of knickers and a bra, which had been ripped apart at the front.

Miss Kovacs's body was first found by a Romanian man on the same day as the alleged murder but he was afraid to call police because he was concerned about his immigration status. He asked friends to make the call instead, and the body was recovered by officers on July 21.

Miss Kovacs was said to have been a “sociable person” and a “kind and helpful lady” who had had a number of “casual relationships”, including a sham Islamic marriage towards the end of 2011, for which she expected to be paid £5,000.

Miss Kovacs and Mr Gyarmati came to know each other when they lived together in a house with fellow Hungarian nationals, and they texted each other right up until the day before her death.

Describing the last text message Mr Gyarmati sent Miss Kovacs the night before her death, Mr Rees said: “In that message he said that he was sorry she was in a bad mood and that she needed to hang on a little longer and that he would pop in after work if she was free.”

The trial has been adjourned this afternoon and will continue tomorrow morning.

The case is expected to last between two and three weeks.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree