Murder accused took ‘tour of pleasures’ across UK after killing Branston mum and her partner

The Branston student accused of murdering his mother and her partner admitted to a jury on Friday that he went on a “tour of last pleasures” after carrying out the killings.

Andrei-Mihai Simion-Munteanu told the jury at Lincoln Crown Court that he drove to Stonehenge but didn’t go onto the site and then carried on to Cornwall where he visited Tintagel Castle.

When asked under cross-examination by Michael Auty QC why he chose Stonehenge he responded: “It was somewhere that was recommended to visit in your life time.”

He said he did not enjoy Tintagel Castle but liked the view.

Simion-Munteanu said he then drove to Cardiff where he stayed overnight in a Travelodge and visited a nearby Odeon Cinema where he watched the Lion King.

After that he headed north eventually reaching Edinburgh where he spent time with an escort and went to the Sea Life Centre at Queensferry before continuing north to Dunnottar Castle.

Mr Auty said to him: “This was a tour of last pleasures for you wasn’t it?” Simion-Munteanu responded: “Yes, I suppose it was.”

The defendant agreed he killed the couple because of the plan he had earlier drawn up and he thought the plan would make him happy if he carried it out.

The families of Premm Monti and Robert Tully released a photograph of the couple. Photo: Lincolnshire Police

“I thought I would not feel guilt because an evil person would not feel guilt

“You have to earn happiness. It doesn’t come from nowhere. I could earn this happiness by doing evil.

” I followed the plan. The plan was more important than anything else because it would give me happiness.”

The jury has heard that Simion-Munteanu 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.

Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

In July, he strangled his mother Leela Monti and killed her partner Robert Tully attacking him from behind with a hammer at the family home at Branston.

Simion-Munteanu’s defence team say he is guilty of manslaughter through diminished responsibility rather than murder.

Consultant psychiatrist Dr Steffan Davies, called on behalf of the defence, said he carried out an assessment of Simion-Munteanu. He said he found evidence that the defendant was suffering from a mental disorder that provided an explanation as to why he killed his mother and her partner.

He told the jury: “The most significant disorder at the time was a major depressive disorder. At the time he was describing delusions and that he had to kill his mother and her partner. He had symptoms of a severe form of depression.”

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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