Braintree: Jury hears from Christine Chambers friend about Oakes violence (From Essex County Standard)
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Braintree: Jury hears from Christine Chambers friend about Oakes violence
3:43pm Thursday 19th April 2012 in Local news
A woman blasted to death with a shotgun told a friend her alleged killer was violent towards her.
A court heard today how Christine Chambers was hit, kicked and was dragged by her hair during her relationship with David Oakes.
She was also chased down a road by Oakes in his car and a jury heard how her friend thought Oakes was trying to run her over.
Mrs Chambers - known to friends as Chrissie - ended the relationship with former nightclub bouncer Oakes and seemed to be much happier.
But Chelmsford Crown Court heard how she was still frightened of her former partner and used a metal pole to wedge her front door shut as she knew Oakes had a key.
"She was scared," friend Donna Garrod said. "She did not want him coming back."
But the jury has heard how Oakes returned to her home in Bartram Road South last June, used his key to get in and allegedly used a shotgun to kill Mrs Chambers and his two-year-old daughter Shania at point-blank range.
Oakes then tried to killed himself with the shotgun but failed. He has been left scarred for life.
Oakes claimed after his arrest Mrs Chambers, 38, had shot her own daughter dead and she had died as he struggled to get the gun from her.
Oakes also claimed Mrs Chambers had shot him during the late night incident at the house on June 6 last year.
Miss Garrod told the court she was good friends with Mrs Chambers and the mother of four would confide in her.
She said she got the impression Oakes was very loving and called his daughter his princess.
She said she never saw any violence involving the couple but later on, Mrs Chambers started telling her about incidents involving Oakes.
She told the jury: "She was saying if she did something wrong he would be violent. It was hard for her to talk to people. If he did not like what she was doing, he would be violent."
Miss Garrod said there were times when she saw her friend with black eyes and bruising and the trial has heard how another friend had lent Mrs Chambers make-up to cover bruising.
Miss Garrod described another incident: "I saw him chase Chrissie in his car. He was in Bartram Avenue. I think the car was a Jag. She was running and it looked like he was trying to run her over. She ran to the Marks Farm estate because there was some situation that she was scared Dave(Oakes) was going to do something to her."
Mrs Chambers also told her friend how Oakes had thrown a tin of beans at her but it hit her older daughter instead and how whisky was thrown in her face while she was holding baby Shania whom Oakes had threatened to kill on another ocassion.
The court has heard how Mrs Chambers was subjected to a humiliating three-hour degrading ordeal by Oakes before she was killed.
She was forced to take off her top and Oakes used scissors to cut off clumps of her hair.
The former nightclub bouncer also told his former partner: "If I can’t have you, then no one can’, the court heard.
Mrs Chambers had been at home watching television with her daughters at around midnight when Oakes arrived with the double-barrelled shotgun and let himself in with the key he had kept He also had an axe, a bottle of petrol, scissors and shotgun cartridges.
The older daughter, who cannot be named for legal reasons, tried to use her mobile phone but Oakes took it and her mother's mobile and smashed them.
The 11-year-old told police Oakes forced her mother to kiss him and say she loved him.
Her mother told her to get out of the house and the girl managed to escape through a first-floor window on to a flat roof above the kitchen before running to her father’s house, the jury of seven men and five woman have been told.
Police heard several gunshots when they arrived at the scene but there was nothing they could do, Orlando Pownall, prosecuting, said.
Mr Pownall said Oakes carried out the alleged murders because he feared losing access to his daughter.
"Fuelled by jealousy, frustrated by the fact his relationship with Christine Chambers was over and that he would only in the future have limited access to Shania, he deemed he would kill them and kill himself," Mr Pownall said.
Oakes, Steeple Bay caravan park, Canney Road, Steeple, denies murdering his former partner and their daughter on June 6 last year.
*The trial continues.