A millionaire businessman who paid a burlesque dancer up to £10,000 a month to be his personal escort throttled her to death after hearing she was going to leave him, a court has heard. Monmouthshire-based property mogul Peter Morgan is accused of killing Georgina Symonds in January this year after overhearing a conversation on a listening device he installed in her home.
Newport Crown Court heard how the 54-year-old had been in a three-year relationship with the trained beautician. The 25-year-old, who had one daughter, had worked as a burlesque dancer and later as a high-end prostitute, but Morgan paid her between £7,000 and £10,000 per month to stop seeing other men and to work as his exclusive personal escort, according to prosecutors.
The married father-of-two of Llanellen, near Abergavenny, had lavished Symonds, from the Allt-yr-yn area of Newport, with numerous gifts including a car, liposuction, spa days, and helicopter rides from a castle he owned, a jury heard.
Morgan was even known by her friends as "Rich Pete" and, according to the Crown, he became "increasingly controlling" and "obsessive". He even installed a secret listening device in her home and heard her tell someone she would leave Morgan once he signed over his bungalow to her, it was stated.
Prosecutor William Hughes QC told the court that Morgan had listened to Georgina's phone conversations for months before the murder. Hughes said, according to the BBC: "In post-arrest interviews, [Morgan] said he made a ligature from twine at his workshop. He knotted both ends and used the homemade ligature to kill Georgina.
"He went to her home address to kill her and he took duct tape, plastic sheeting to wrap her body and a metal pole to lift and assist him in carrying her body. That metal pole fitted perfectly inside the boot of his Porsche Cayenne motor vehicle."
Morgan, who is separated from his wife, was questioned by police after they traced Symond's phone to his Porsche parked at his farmhouse. He allegedly admitted the killing when he was first arrested, according to prosecutors, telling police: "I strangled her this morning. I took her body to Beech Hill Farm. I love her so much."
Morgan denies murder. The trial is expected to last three weeks.