Man allegedly killed millionaire heiress fed up with funding luxury lifestyle

·4-min read

A German man on trial for the death of his British millionaire heiress girlfriend has admitted in court to strangling her with a hand towel while they were having sex on their hotel bathroom floor.

But prosecutors claim he is lying, pointing out that the room had been decimated and that the young woman had signs of having been beaten, with other hotel guests hearing screaming and then the man later crying.

"We had sex on the bathroom floor. I put a hand towel around Anna's neck. Then I pressed on it with my hands, as we had done a hundred times before. Suddenly she stopped moving, her tongue was sticking out. I tried to resuscitate her," the accused, Dirk W., 32, told the court during questioning by the judge.

Anna Florence Reed, 22, from North Yorkshire, was found dead at Hotel La Palma au Lac, a four-star lakeside hotel in the southern Swiss municipality of Muralto on April 9, 2019.

Anna Florence Reed. Source: Newsflash/Australscope
Anna Florence Reed, 22, was found dead at Hotel La Palma au Lac, a four-star lakeside hotel in the southern Swiss municipality of Muralto in 2019. Source: Newsflash/Australscope

Her former partner's trial started on Monday in the Swiss town of Lugano, which is in the Italian speaking Ticino region.

Though the defendant maintains Ms Reed's death was the result of a sex game gone wrong, the prosecution believes he murdered the young woman when she threatened to stop funding his luxury lifestyle.

On the second day of the case, prosecutor Petra Canonica Alexakis rejected the suggestion that it was a sex game gone wrong, saying it was plain and simple femicide.

She said that everything said by Dirk W. was a lie from beginning to end, and argued that all the evidence pointed to the fact that there had been a huge fight between the couple shortly before he killed her.

"On the night she died, there was no sex, there was just a femicide," she said.

Ms Alexakis urged the court therefore consider nothing less than the 19 years and six months behind bars. that the prosecution is requesting for the German man.

British millionaire heiress Anna Florence Reed with her boyfriend Dirk W. Source: Newsflash/Australscope
Dirk W. has admitted in court to strangling her with a hand towel while they were having sex on their hotel bathroom floor. Source: Newsflash/Australscope

Hotel room found decimated, police say

The prosecutor said that at 2am, a person in the adjoining hotel room had heard screaming, and then had heard Dirk W. stomping onto the balcony. Tables had been turned over and cups smashed. There was also the sound of him crying.

The detectives who investigated the crime found that the hotel room had been decimated, with shattered fragments of glass and pottery and water stains. Pictures of the young woman with her family had been ripped up and scattered over the bed. And a ring that he had given her was lying on the floor.

The telephone cable had also been ripped out of the wall, which Ms Alexakis argued was also a sign that there had been no sex, and instead a heated row.

The court also heard that Dirk W. had an injury to his hand and she had injuries to her gums, indicating that he had held his hand over her mouth rather than strangling her with a towel in a sex game. 

Anna Florence Reed with Dirk W. on the rooftop of a hotel. Source: Newsflash/Australscope
Dirk W.'s trial started on Monday in the Swiss town of Lugano. Source: Newsflash/Australscope

Police also found scratches on Ms Reed that indicated a fight. There were also bruises on her body and face.

Her credit card was missing at the time, though it was found in the ceiling of the hotel lift four months after the crime, with the defendant telling the court he placed it there as a prank after his girlfriend complained about always paying for everything.

The court heard how the pair had consumed alcohol and cocaine before she died.

During the court case, Dirk W. was asked detailed questions by the judge such as how many times the couple had sex on the night of April 9, 2019 and how did it come to pass that they played the strangulation game.

However, he was unable to answer many of the questions because of the time since elapsed, and also because he was very drunk at the time.

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