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Man who murdered girlfriend on bus and dumping her body off busy A3 wrapped in duvet jailed for life

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A man has been jailed for life after murdering his on-off girlfriend and dumping her body off the A3 in Guilford. Dane Messam, 52, had killed mum-of-four Helen Anderson, 41, last August before wrapping her body in a duvet and plastic sheet and leaving it near a small wooded area off the busy main road.

Appearing today at Guildford Crown Court, Messam was sentenced to a minimum of 23 years after he was found guilty at the end of a five-week trial. On August 23, 2021, Surrey Police had received a call shortly after 3pm from a member of the public, who had found Helen’s body just off the slip-road from the A320 roundabout.

She and Messam had been in an on-off relationship for five years and were living together in Finsbury Park, North London. The two had regularly travelled on a red and white decommissioned double-decker bus and had taken a trip to Brighton together towards the end of July 2021.

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Mum-of-four Helen Anderson, 41, was found wrapped in a duvet near the A3

After her body was found in the undergrowth, the member of public managed to get the attention of a British Transport Police officer who was travelling along Stoke Road. A post-mortem examination found that a “very tight ligature” was found around Helen’s neck.

A murder investigation was launched and Messam was quickly identified as the leading suspect. It emerged that he and Helen had been due to fly to Jamaica on August 25, but he had cancelled her ticket on the same day her body was discovered.

His bus had also broken down in London on Tuesday, August 24, and pictures taken by the breakdown recovery agent showed brushes and water buckets on board, suggesting that it had recently been cleaned. Messam was eventually located by police the following day whilst driving the bus out of London.

Detectives had thought he was making his way to a storage location before boarding his flight to Jamaica, but he instead drove to Guildford and passed the location where he had dumped Helen’s body. He then drove up to Oxfordshire before stopping at a petrol station, where officers from Surrey Police took their opportunity to arrest him.

Blood staining was found in the back of Messam’s bus and DNA from Helen’s blood was found on his khaki jacket. In the aftermath of the attack, he had also bought packs of socks, toilet cleaner, a still scrub brush and 750ml of Mr Muscle bathroom cleaner.

Whilst in police custody, Messam told officers “I’m going to prison for this and I don’t f***ing care. I do care but there’s only so much somebody can take”. He was charged with her murder on August 29 but denied the charge. Another man was also arrested in connection with Helen’s death after Messam tried to blame him, but he was later released without further action.

Following her death, Helen’s family paid tribute to her, saying: “Our dear sister and daughter has gone. We loved you. In this life, you faced many challenges and still you had a big heart. Goodbye, dear Helen.”

Detective Chief Inspector Emma Vickers, from Surrey and Sussex Major Crime Team said: “This was a tragic case where a woman lost her life at the hands of a man she loved who abused her trust. Even with all the evidence against him, Messam continued to deny having any involvement in Helen’s death causing further pain to those who knew and loved her by putting them through the agony of a trial.

“He has acted entirely in self-interest. After killing Helen, we believe he left her body in Surrey, a place which she had no connection to in the hope that his hideous crime would go undetected long enough for him to escape the country.

“I am extremely proud of the officers involved for their work in ensuring Messam is now behind bars where he belongs. This was a large-scale investigation by Surrey and Sussex Police with assistance from our colleagues in the Metropolitan Police Service to secure evidence from Messam’s house.

“Our thoughts remain with Helen’s family who have demonstrated immense bravery throughout the investigation and the subsequent trial, despite having to hear distressing details about their loved one. I hope they take some comfort from today’s outcome.”

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