Branston double murder: Accused ‘wanted to be evil’

A student on trial for the murders of his mum and her partner admitted to a jury that he killed both of them and said he thought it would make him happy.

Andrei-Mihai Simion-Munteanu at Lincoln Crown Court was asked by his barrister Andrew Campbell-Tiech whether he killed his mum.

He replied “yes”.

Mr Campbell-Tiech then asked him “and a few hours later in the early hours of the morning of 30 July you killed Robert Tully?”

He again responded “yes.”

Simion-Munteanu was then asked why he killed them. He said: “I thought that I am evil and if I did that I would be happy.”

He went on to tell the jury that on July 16 last year he took the decision to kill both his mother Leela Monti and her partner Robert Tully which he enacted two weeks later.

“I spent time to think of a solution to fix everything. At some point, evil came to my mind. One second it wasn’t there and then it was.

“I didn’t doubt that I was evil. It became the centre of my thinking.

“Since I was evil, if I did an evil act I would be happy and my depression would go away.

Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

“I decided to kill my mother because it was the most evil thing I could do. I killed Robert because killing two people would be even worse. So it would be a great evil so that I could be happy for the rest of my life.”

He went on to explain how he killed the couple saying he told his mother he had a surprise for her and asked her to go into his bedroom.

“She liked surprises. It seemed like the best way to convince her to come into my room.

“I asked her to lay on her stomach. With my left hand I covered her nose and mouth and with my right hand I strangled her. I did it because I wanted to be happy. Afterwards I felt awful.”

He said he then waited almost six hours for Mr Tully to wake up.

“He asked me where his wife was. He went to check the bathroom. I suggested he check the kitchen. He went into the kitchen and I hit him once from behind. He collapsed on the floor. I hit him four or five times. He wasn’t moving.”

Simion-Munteanu told the jury that neither of his victims deserved to die.

Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Michael Auty QC, prosecuting, has told the jury that after carrying out the killings Simion-Munteanu went on a tour around Great Britain in Mr Tully’s car visiting Salisbury, Cornwall, Cardiff, Holyhead and Glasgow before arriving in Aberdeen where he was arrested.

The jury has heard that the defendant developed mental health problems while studying at the University of Lincoln and had previously made attempts on his own life.

He was diagnosed with depression and while on an internship in the USA he was admitted to a psychiatric unit as a result of self harming. He was discharged after a week and prescribed medication but stopped taking it soon after returning to the UK in April 2019.

His defence team say he is guilty of manslaughter through diminished responsibility rather than murder.

Andrei-Mihai Simion-Munteanu, 22, of Lincoln Road, Branston, denies the murders of Leela Monti, 51, originally from Romania, and Robert Tully, 71, originally from the United States between July 27 and August 6 2019.

The trial continues.

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