Prolific liar convicted of strangling ex-girlfriend to death in Kew home
An Estonian stunt man who claimed he could kill without a trace has been found guilty of murdering his ex-girlfriend and burying her body in her own garden.
Kirill Belorusov, 32, was found guilty today [Monday, 30 September] of one count of murder after a trial at the Old Bailey.
Belorusov met his victim, French film producer Laureline Garcia-Bertaux, 34, in 2009 when they both worked at a nightclub together. By early March 2019, when he strangled Ms Garcia-Bertaux to death, he owed her a large sum of money. The debt meant Ms Garcia-Bertaux was unable to pay her rent or feed her dogs. Belorusov gave numerous excuses to delay paying the money, including that he was having extensive cancer treatment, which the investigation subsequently found untrue.
As Ms Garcia-Bertaux became increasingly desperate for her money, given that she was at risk of becoming homeless, Belorusov told her he had found a larger, cheaper house in Honor Oak for her to move into. He sent her pictures of a house from the internet and prevented her from speaking to the estate agent to verify the address. When Ms Garcia-Bertaux was trying to organise a removal van, Belorusov said he had called one instead. In fact, no removal van had been booked and there was no new home for her to move to.
Police initially investigated the case as a missing person report after Ms Garcia-Bertaux’s friends became suspicious at her silence. However, when police arrived at her home in Kew and noticed some loose soil on a flowerbed in her garden, they carried out a search. There they discovered her body, naked and wrapped in bin liners with a ligature around her neck. On the morning of Sunday 3 March, Belorusov was seen on CCTV purchasing bin liners, compost, blue rubble sacks, an axe, and a pair of clogs.
Olcay Sapanoglu, from the CPS, said: “This was a chain of deceit by Belorusov at every possible stage: from the cancer treatment he was not having, to the promises of repayment he could not deliver on, to the new home that did not exist and even a fictional estate agent - yet another feature of Belorusov’s treachery.
“After Belorusov had strangled and disposed of Ms Garcia-Bertaux’s body, he used the French translate function on his phone to respond to messages in French to her brother, and even sent messages from her phone to his, despite having already buried her in her garden.
“Upon arrest, Belorusov had deleted all the messages on his phone to his victim. Fortunately, the skills of the forensic recovery team restored this deleted data, revealing the true extent of his lies.
“To maintain one of his many fabrications, he had been texting another girlfriend of his throughout this time with one message chillingly reading: ‘I mean I’d kill for you and I’d lie for you…’.
“This was clearly a crime that Belorusov thought he could lie his way through. The jury saw through his dishonesty and Belorusov will now have to face the consequences of his actions. I hope this conviction provides Ms Garcia-Bertaux’s family and friends with some measure of comfort.”
Notes to editors
- Olcay Sapanoglu is a senior crown prosecutor with the London CPS Homicide Unit
- Kirill Belorusov (DOB: 04/03/1987) from Estonia was found guilty of one count of murder.