Teenager not guilty of transsexual murder
A teenager has been cleared of murdering a transsexual after discovering she was a man.
Shanniel Hyatt, 18, was cleared of murdering Kellie Telesford at the Old Bailey today.
He had been accused of strangling the 39-year-old with a brown furry scarf after taking her out on a date.
But Hyatt, of Thornton Heath, insisted he had left her alive and well, although he admitted stealing her mobile phone, Freeview box and DVD player.
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His barrister Joanna Greenberg QC told the court the victim had a habit of "taking men to her flat and engaging in intimacy" and was "quite good" at concealing her gender from them.
She suggested Miss Telesford could have died during a "kinky sex game" with another man after Hyatt had left the flat.
Judge Paul Worsley QC said: "Shanniel Hyatt you have been found not guilty of being involved in the killing of Kellie Telesford.
However, Jamaican illegal immigrant Hyatt will now remain in custody facing deportation.
The pair had met just hours before after bumping in to each other in Norbury and agreed to go for a drink.
The beautician was found three days later lying on the floor of the bedroom of her Leander Road, Thornton Heath flat, still in her underwear with a white sheet pulled across her body.
Prosecutor Sally O'Neill QC said: 'When police broke in to the flat they saw her lying on the floor on the left side of the bed and a bay window, covered by a white throw.
When he was later interviewed by police it was put to him that he had reacted violently after discovering she was a pre-op transsexual during the date, but the teenager denied this.
Miss O'Neill said Hyatt said he discovered Kellie had been a man an hour before the police interview and had not known she was a biological male while he was with her.
"He said he 'felt p*ssed about finding out' and said he would have left straight away. He denied he made the discovery at the flat and became violent as a result."