The murder trial into the death of a mother who was ‘always trying to find happiness’ started at Lewes Crown Court today (January 7).
Debbie Levey, 44, was found dead at her home, Cherry Tree Cottage, in East Ashling, on January 28, 2012.
Police who attended the scene found her sitting on the sofa, covered by a blanket.
At first there was nothing to arouse suspicion. However, on closer examination, three factors stood out.
Ms Levey’s mobile phone was at the bottom of the fish tank. She had marks on her neck which were described as ‘love bites’. Thirdly, the blanket looked as though it had been placed on her.
A post mortem revealed Miss Levey died of asphyxia and it appeared she had been smothered.
Phillip Brown, a driver in his 40s, from Selsey, was charged with her murder.
Prosecuting, Mark Dennis QC, said: “It is a very deliberate act to smother someone and cause them to suffocate.
“It takes only a few moments to do.”
He said it appeared the scene had been staged to make it look as though the death was of natural causes.
Mr Dennis said friends had described her as a ‘really lovely bubbly person’, ‘a very open and honest person’, ‘a very glamorous woman’ and ‘attractive and sexy’.
Ms Levey, who was divorced, had been renting Cherry Tree Cottage for the past ten years and lived there with her teenage daughter.
She was a manager at Leaholme Care Home in Chichester.
The trial continues.