Dan Sales, Daily Mail, April 1, 2021
This is the moment an amputation-obsessed failed Iraqi asylum seeker is seen with a woman just hours before he brutally murdered her and then dismembered her body.
Azam Mangori, 24, killed Lorraine Cox, 32, in his room above an Exeter kebab shop in September last year.
He cut her body into seven pieces over the course of a week and disposed of her clothing and possessions in bins and woodland.
It is believed Ms Cox could have been suffocated as the T-shirt she had been wearing was found in her mouth.
After murdering Ms Cox, Mangori then used her SIM card in his mobile phone to pretend she was alive and well to family and friends.
They reported her missing to the police before the terrible truth was finally discovered.
Detectives cracked the case after finding CCTV of Ms Cox walking through the city centre at night with a mystery man – who would later be revealed as Mangori.
The footage is the last time Ms Cox would be seen alive.
Police later made the grim discovery that Mangori had dismembered Ms Cox’s body before attempting to dispose of it in bin bags.
Following a four-week trial at Exeter Crown Court, Mangori, of no fixed address, was today convicted of murder by a jury after six hours of deliberations.
He had previously admitted a separate charge of preventing Miss Cox’s lawful burial.
Miss Cox was last seen walking home from a night out with friends at about 1.30am on September 1.
Prosecutors said a drunken Miss Cox and Mangori had a ‘sexual encounter’ in an alleyway before they went back to his flat above the Bodrum Kebab House.
Her whereabouts remained a mystery to her family for a week until Mangori – a failed asylum seeker from Iraq liable to deportation – was arrested by detectives.
Lorraine’s body remained in the flat until September 8. Mangori spent the first day looking through her belongings, hacking into her phone, emails and online social networks.
The prosecution claimed he tried to steal her money by setting up a PayPal account.
Later that evening he took a Snapchat video of himself vaping on his bed and listening to music with the lyrics ‘Angels deserve to die’.
Detectives scoured thousands of hours of CCTV and gigabytes of phone data in order to crack the case of Lorraine Cox’s murder.
In what was one of the largest investigations in Exeter in recent years, detectives combed through mounds of CCTV tapes in order to find clues.
They also interviewed half a dozen potential suspects and analysed massive amounts of phone data.
Eventually it was the CCTV analysis which led them to Mangori’s door.
CCTV footage from the city centre showed Lorraine had left Bodrum kebab house and wandered through Cathedral Yard before sitting on a bench near Marks and Spencer to eat a kebab.
Shortly after, footage showed a man leaving the building and later Lorraine coming back to the building with the same man.
This was the last time Lorraine was seen alive. The footage was found eight days after her disappearance.
Police later visited the kebab house and spoke to the tenant who lived above it – but they did not find Lorraine’s body.
Mangori introduced himself to police as Christopher Mayer.
But suspicious police checked out the serial number in his phone and was able to confirm that Lorraine’s SIM card had been used it in.
Then, in a third breakthrough, police discovered that Mangori had disposed of her body.
The next day a police officer searching the alleyway at the back found bin bags containing human body parts.
With Mangori in custody on suspicion of kidnap, and a body found, police pushed towards a murder charge.
Another breakthrough came when a taxi driver remembered seeing Mangori with a large blue and red holdall.
When police found the bag, it contained Lorraine’s remains.
CCTV also showed how Mangori had made several trips to Wilko.
Receipts showed he had purchased dozens of big bags – in which parts of Lorraine’s body were found.
A detailed forensic examination of Mangori’s room later found spots of her blood on his wall and two knives in a bin.
Mangori was later charged with Lorraine’s murder.
Helen Phillips, of the CPS, said: ‘This was a complex case which saw the police and CPS working closely together from an early stage of the investigation.
‘Huge amounts of forensic and digital evidence were analysed and the investigation led overseas to Iraq and Germany.
‘Thanks to the excellent work of Devon and Cornwall Police, the CPS were able to build a compelling case that led to today’s guilty verdict.
‘The CPS and police are committed to working together to deliver justice for the victims of violent crime.
‘Our thoughts are with Lorraine’s family and friends at this difficult time’.
He responded to concerned friends of Lorraine by pretending she was still alive and saying she was making a new start in Plymouth.
The messages included one to her father saying ‘Hey Papa, I’m sorry. I’m in Plymouth. Please forgive me.’ Another said: ‘I love you Papa. Changing my number. I will text to you my new number.’
He deliberately mimicked Lorraine’s use of words like ‘Papa’ to make the false messages seem genuine.
Friends recognised the person responding was not Lorraine and he gave up the act on September 3 after being told that police were being called.
Prosecutor Simon Laws QC told the court the defendant had a ‘morbid interest in amputation’ and days before and after the murder had looked at images relating to the subject.
Mr Laws said: ‘Given the dates he viewed this material, you may think it is clear he was interested in the topic before he had any need for information.
‘He did not have the dead body of Lorraine Cox in his room until a couple of days later. When he did, he performed a neat and professional amputation of her limbs.’
Mangori looked at videos of people with amputations, as well as those with deformities to their legs and one of a woman’s lower leg experiencing cramp.
‘You will no doubt want to consider whether it was this interest that may have motivated him to commit this murder,’ he said.
Mangori purchased items to dispose of Miss Cox’s body over a number of days, including a trowel after viewing a website entitled: ‘How to dig a grave by hand.’
A pathologist was unable to determine a cause of Miss Cox’s death due to the length of time between her murder and remains being found.
Giving evidence, Mangori told the jury she died suddenly after sex in his bedroom having been drinking and taking drugs.
He said he panicked when he discovered her lying dead on the floor, and left her in his room for several days before wrapping her body in clingfilm, bin liners and tape.
‘I just remember waking up, like it was a nightmare. I just freaked out when I saw her. I just dragged her on to my bed because she looked really cold,’ he said.
‘Deep down I knew she was dead but I thought she would wake up.’
Mangori, who was remanded into custody, will be sentenced on April 7 by Mr Justice Garnham.
Lorraine Cox’s family said after the verdict: ‘We hope and pray that no other woman or family has to go through what our beautiful girl suffered, or that any other family suffers the brutal, distressing experience we have all been through.’
They said she was ‘most kind hearted, loving generous girl – the heartbeat of our family.’
Devon and Cornwall Police Assistant Chief Constable Jim Colwell said: ‘The murder of Lorraine Cox was callous and brutal in its nature and details of the crime revealed at court will have disturbed many of our communities.
‘The way in which Azam Mangori exploited Lorraine’s vulnerability before murdering her and dismembering her body is a deeply disturbing crime.
‘Violence against anyone, especially a vulnerable woman like Lorraine, is abhorent.
‘Devon and Cornwall Police, along with many parts of our society, is currently reflecting on the highlighting of threats many women and girls feel on a daily basis.
‘We need to understand and listen to those in our communities who say they do not feel safe and come together to change any culture of fear which may exist.’