A New Zealand man murdered his Thai girlfriend then lived with her rotting corpse in the lounge for almost a month as he read jokes to cheer himself up, a court was told today.
Gordon Hieatt, 47, pleaded not guilty in Auckland High Court to strangling Nuttidar Vaikaew in April last year, news agency
Prosecutor Rachael Reed said Hieatt killed Vaikaew, a sex worker who originally came from Thailand, during an argument in her Auckland apartment, then left her body on a bed in a curtained off corner of the lounge.
After placing a dressing gown over the corpse's head, he carried on living life as normal, Reed told the court. She said that Vaikaew's landlord went to the apartment to check on overdue rent three-and-a-half weeks after the death and noticed a strong smell when Hieatt answered the door.
Police found an electric fan pointed at the corpse to try to minimise the stench when they went to investigate. "The smell was indescribable and putrid, dead flies and maggots were all over the lounge and particularly on the bed," Reed said.
She said Hieatt's computer records showed he engaged in online chats with a sex worker in Thailand while in the apartment. In the messages, he allegedly admitted the killing and said he read jokes all day to cheer himself up. The trial continues.