Man guilty of rape and murder

A man has been given a life sentence for the murder and rape of a 20-year-old woman, India Chipchase.

Edward Tenniswood, aged 52, will serve a minimum 30 years for murder and 12 years for rape concurrently.

A jury of six men and six women sitting at Birmingham Crown Court found Tenniswood guilty in less than two hours.

India, 20, was killed by Tenniswood (pictured below) in the early hours of January 30 this year, after he led her away from friends in Bridge Street, Northampton.

Detective Chief Inspector Steve Woliter from the East Midlands Special Operational Unit (EMSOU) led the investigation into India’s death.

He said: “I welcome the decision of the jury today and thank them for the diligence they have shown throughout the last two weeks.

“Tenniswood’s predatory actions in the early hours of Saturday, 30 January, have left India’s family totally devastated, and I want to take this opportunity to publically express mine and the force’s condolences to them.

“India’s family and friends have shown great strength and courage in the last six months as they have tried to come to terms with what has happened, and I also want to thank them for their help and patience during the course of our investigation.

“India was a young woman at the start of her life, who should have been able to enjoy a night out with friends and return home without coming to any harm.

“It is clear that Tenniswood targeted India at a point when she was most vulnerable and unable to defend herself – the actions of the worst kind of predator.

“My lasting hope is that India’s family is able to take some kind of solace in the fact that Tenniswood will not be able to prey on any other young women who are innocently going about their lives.”
India had been enjoying a night out with friends in Northampton town centre when Tenniswood approached her in the early hours of Saturday, 30 January. He led her to a taxi before taking her to his house in Stanley Road, St James.

Superintendent Chris Hillery, Head of Local Policing, said this type of incident was unprecedented in Northamptonshire.

Supt Hillery said: “India was like any other 20-year-old in that she enjoyed spending time with her friends and socialising and they all should have been able to enjoy a night out and return home with shared memories of a fun-filled evening. Instead India’s family and friends have been left devastated by the tragic turn of events.

“This was a tragedy that affected a lot of people in Northampton, and I want reassure them that this was an unprecedented incident, unlike any other we have seen in one of our town centres in all my years at Northamptonshire Police.

“I understand people’s genuine concerns about going out, however, we want people to be able to visit our town centres and enjoy themselves – there is no reason not to.

“I want to take this opportunity to remind people of some key personal safety tips and also urge anyone with any concerns to speak to any of our officers out on patrol in our town centres.

–    Look after each other while out. Keep together and in close contact

–    Plan ahead and organise your transport home before going out – always use a licensed cab or taxi, or get a lift with a friend or family member

–    If you see anyone acting suspiciously or see something out of the ordinary while on a night out call police on 101

“We work closely with partners and licensed premises to keep our town centres as safe as possible and will continue to do so. We are committed to making Northamptonshire the safest place in the country and that includes making people feel safe while they’re out in our town centres at night.”


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