A woman who agreed to pole dance for her ex-boyfriend was murdered and her body set on fire

Louise Rump’s body was found at the foot of her bed by firefighters who had been called by neighbors when they saw smoke billowing from her flat in the village of Kensworth, Bedfordshire.

Louise Rump was killed at her home in Plewes Close, Kensworth, Bedfordshire

A woman who agreed to pole dance for her former boyfriend has been murdered and her body set on fire, a jury heard today.

The body of Louise Rump, 29, was found at the foot of her bed by firefighters who had been called by neighbors when they saw smoke billowing from her apartment in the village of Kensworth, Bedfordshire.

“She had been killed and set on fire,” said David Matthew, a prosecutor at St Albans Crown Court.

Mr Matthew said his ex-partner Habib Jackson, 32, had an ‘agreement’ with Louise.

He said: “She was going to dance for him in underwear he had chosen. This deal went wrong. Firefighters found her dead. She had been killed by asphyxiation.”

Jackson of Dunstable Road, Toddington, Beds and his business partner and fellow security guard Christopher Hayward, also 32, of Fensome Drive, Houghton Regis, Beds both deny murder.

Louise Croup


Bedfordshire Police)

The jury was told by Judge Michael Kay QC that Jackson had refused to leave prison and would be tried in his absence. Hayward is aided in court by an intermediary.

Opening the case, Mr Matthew said: ‘Louise Rump was killed on Friday October 16, 2020. She was 29 at the time. She was killed in her flat in Plewes Close, Kensworth.

He said she was alive and well earlier in the day when neighbors saw her and she exchanged WhatApp messages with a cousin until 11:15 a.m.

“Between a quarter past eleven and half past twelve, she was killed,” he said.

“These two defendants, during this hour 15 minutes, were at his address. She was found dead after they left.

“The pathologist found that she had been killed by asphyxiation before her body was set on fire. There were signs of attack with bruising on her face, left hand, wrist and pelvis.

“The fire was a fairly deliberate attempt to destroy any traces her attacker might have left,” he said.

Telephone, automatic number plate recognition and CCTV evidence from Kensworth village shops allegedly tracked the two men’s cars as they drove from Toddington to Kensworth on the morning of the murder.

At 12:31 p.m. in the afternoon, the store’s CCTV recorded the two cars leaving the village, the court heard.

Jackson was seen pulling up to the side of the road and tossing a sweater with Louise’s blood on it and a cardboard box, the jury was told.

When firefighters entered the apartment, they found a dancer’s pole in the living room and Louise’s body in the bedroom.

Mr Matthew said: ‘This is where the fire was started. The curtains had caught fire and there was smoke damage. At the end of the bed was a plastic water bottle. There is reason to believe that there was gasoline or accelerator to start the fire.”

The jury was told that Jackson sometimes referred to himself as Louise’s “Sugar Daddy”. They had been involved in a relationship that ended about a year earlier.

In an Oct. 15 post, Jackson wrote to Louise, “It’s been a year baby, since I’ve been deep down where I belong.”

He continued, “Can’t you give me what I want?” She replied, “No”.

Mr Matthew said, referring to the planned pole dance, Jackson wrote: “G-string and underwear ready?”

When Jackson was questioned by police the day after the murder, he said they had an on-and-off relationship, the court heard.

He denied going to the flat on the day of the murder, but said he went there on Thursday February 15 when they had a fight and she scratched her face.

The prosecutor said there was a scratch on Jackson’s face under his right eye.

Hayward did not comment in response to police questions.

The case continues.

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