A man accused of rape and murder told police he had s*x with a woman he met on the same street where his alleged victim was found, a court has heard.
Bala Chinda, 26, is alleged to have killed 36-year-old Nkechi McGraa – also known as Jessica – at a flat in Union Terrace in February 2016.
It is claimed he spoke to police officers after he was cautioned and told them: “I met a lady at 10am on Union Terrace. We had sex and I left.”
He denies all the charges against him.
The High Court in Aberdeen heard Mr Chinda was detained after officers investigating the death of Ms McGraa discovered she had travelled to the block of flats where the Nigerian student lived.
She returned to her apartment on Union Terrace with the man at about 13:02 on 11 February and was never seen alive again. Surveillance cameras recorded the movements of a black man walking down the street where she was staying soon afterwards, heading back to the student accommodation on King Street.
A camouflage print jacket and blue trainers similar to the clothing worn by the man seen on the CCTV footage were later found during a search of Mr Chinda’s room.
‘Cool, calm and collected’
Defending, Ian Duguid QC, asked Det Con Joe McCrystal if his client had offered the information about having sex with a woman after being asked whether he had been on that street on the day of the murder.
The officer replied: “No.”
Mr Duguid asked: “All the time he was with you was he cool, calm and collected?”
The officer replied: “He was very calm.”
However, the officer added that Mr Chinda appeared to be shocked when he was informed of the reason that he had been detained.
Mr Duguid asked: “In other words, the revelation that the woman was dead or that he was being alleged to have murdered her was a shock to him?”
DC McCrystal replied: “Well his demeanour had changed.”
Mr Chinda is accused of inflicting blunt force trauma to Ms McGraa’s head and compressing her neck, forcing her face into a pillow and asphyxiating her.
He is also alleged to have stolen a key and two mobile phones belonging to Ms McGraa and disposed of the phone used by him to contact her.
Mr Chinda is said to have committed this offence to destroy evidence in an attempt to defeat the ends of justice.
The court had earlier heard that Mr Chinda got his hairdresser to give him £500 days after the death. He asked Solomon Omekefe to have the money transferred from his sister’s account.
Mr Omekefe told the court how he met Nigerian-born student Mr Chinda while cutting his hair in a King Street salon earlier that year.
The court heard that Mr Chinda later contacted him to ask if his sister could transfer money into the hairdresser’s bank account.
Mr Omekefe said: “He said he didn’t have any money with him.
“When he came he told me that as a new student they have to open up an account.
“And so he told me that he doesn’t have an account.”
The 25-year-old said he could not recall when the two men agreed the £500 money transfer but remembered handing Mr Chinda cash a few days after the alleged murder.
He said he withdrew money on two separate days, with the last withdrawal taken from a Morrrisons supermarket near the church he attends on King Street.
Advocate depute Paul Kearney asked him: “You said to police that you gave him £300 on Saturday the 13th and £200 on Sunday the 14th, were you telling them the truth?”
He replied: “Yes.”
Mr Kearney said: “You said on Sunday you went to a church service with him and then you went to Morrisons and took out £200 to give him him the remainder of the money?”
He replied: “Yes.”
She was working as a prostitute when she was found dead in a rented flat she planned to sell s*x there for two days.
The trial continues.