A man is in court for strangling his fiancée to death in an
Oxford hotel last year. He claims both he and his fiancée were
high on drugs at the time, and wants “mitigating
circumstances” to be taken into account . Stephen Ellis has been charged with the murder of Donna Rowe,
his fiancée, at the Travel Lodge Hotel, on 3 August. He claims
they had a couple of grams of cocaine, five or six ecstasy
tablets and were smoking cannabis throughout the night. The couple were in Oxford to attend the wedding of Ellis’
cousin at Headington Hall. Ellis later spoke of how he thanked
his cousin for “providing a dry run” after the wedding
and how he and his fiancée had been prompted by the wedding to
discuss their own ceremony, due to take place a month later,
including “what songs to play on the night itself ”. He
told police he “thought he killed Miss Rowe”. Ellis has denied murder, but pleaded guilty to manslaughter by
diminished responsibility.ARCHIVE: 6th week TT 2004