A cagefighter murdered his teacher ex-partner after he blackmailed her about a sexual relationship she was having with a 15-year-old boy, a court heard.
Jealous ex-convict Paul Robson, 50, carried out a vicious attack on Caroline Kayll, 47, and her teenager lover after he ‘snooped and prowled’ outside her home in Linton, Northumberland, last November, Newcastle Crown Court heard.
The case has been heard throughout the week but can only be reported now after a judge lifted reporting restrictions following the completion of the evidence given by the teenager.
Robson may have stamped and kicked on her, leaving her with unsurvivable brain injuries, chopped off her hair in clumps, cut up her clothes and slashed her buttocks, jurors were told.
Injuries to her eyes and neck bruising indicated she may have been strangled, the court heard.
Robson also repeatedly attacked the boy with scissors and a meat cleaver, sprayed them both with ammonia and stole their phones – later updating her social media, pretending to be her, while he was on the run, jurors were told.
Robson, a former MMA fighter, denies murdering the former prison officer – with whom he had a clandestine relationship while he was behind bars in HMP Northumberland – blackmail and attempting to murder the boy, who cannot be identified for legal reasons.
Pictured: Caroline Kayll, who died in hospital after attack in Linton, Northumberland on November 15
He claims it was the boy who attacked Mrs Kayll – something the teenager denied when he was cross-examined.
Robson and Mrs Kayll, who was separated from her prison officer husband, had lived together in Linton but split up weeks before the murder, and he found out she had started a relationship with the boy, whom she said in texts that she loved.
Jealous ex-convict Paul Robson, 50, ‘carried out a vicious attack on Caroline Kayll, 47, and her teenager lover’
Nicholas Lumley QC, prosecuting, said Robson then had a hold over her, saying: ‘He knew things about her which she would not want to be made public.’
She was to confide in a friend that Robson was blackmailing her for £35,000 and that her ex was ‘going to ruin her’ and tell her school, the jury heard.
And in a period of just 10 days in November, she transferred £29,000 to Robson and took out a £10,500 loan, having previously been solvent.
Days later, Robson sent a series of messages telling their former neighbour about Mrs Kayll’s relationship with the boy, and was ‘losing his rag’, Mr Lumley said.
On November 15, he drove three hours from Glasgow to Linton, having bought a locksmith’s bar, a magnetic GPS car tracker, screwdrivers, pliers, a wrench and the ammonia which he decanted into a washing up bottle.
The powerfully-built defendant wore heavy boots and CCTV showed him ‘prowling’ outside her house, the court was told.
Witnesses heard a female voice shout ‘get out’ and later that evening Robson knocked on his former neighbour’s house to say ‘Caroline was in a bad way’, Mr Lumley said.
Northumbria Police confirmed a 49-year-old man was arrested near Glasgow on suspicion of murder following the attack. Pictured: Police at the scene in November
The 15-year-old boy who was badly injured as his ex-prison officer lover was murdered downstairs did not recognise her killer, a court heard.
Paul Robson is accused of blackmailing and murdering his ex-partner Caroline Kayll after finding out she was dating a 15-year-old boy, who cannot be identified. The teenager told police he was upstairs at her home in Linton, Northumberland, when he heard banging on the door and Mrs Kayll let someone in.
A man, described by the boy as heavy and a ‘baldie’, came upstairs and attacked him with scissors, he told specially trained police officers. At one point during the struggle the man said ‘don’t move or I will kill you’ before coming back with a knife from the kitchen which he used to stab the boy.
The attacker then made the boy go downstairs where he saw Mrs Kayll lying on the floor, he told officers. ‘He was cutting her hair with scissors, he was standing over her to the side. I can’t remember what he was saying, she wasn’t responding,’ he told police.
The man then got a meat cleaver and hit the boy over the head twice, leaving him dizzy. The boy said the killer sprayed Mrs Kayll with the garden hose and also squeezed ammonia from a bottle over her, and him, before fleeing the scene.
When the officers asked if the boy recognised the man, or if he had ever seen him before, he said no. Robson denies blackmail, murder and attempted murder.
Nurse Barbara Lee immediately went round and she told the court she saw lots of blood and hair in the house, and found Mrs Kayll face-down.
Also in the house was the teenage boy, who was in shock and was vomiting blood, ‘scared and frightened’, she said.
Mrs Lee attempted CPR until police and paramedics arrived, and Mrs Kayll was taken to hospital in Newcastle where tests showed her brain was catastrophically injured.
Robson stole his two victims’ phones leaving them no way to call for help, the court heard.
‘The actions of a vindictive man, but a jealous man as well,’ Mr Lumley said.
Robson wanted to use their phones to find out what they had been saying to each other, and posted messages on her Facebook account about the affair with the schoolboy, Mr Lumley said.
Robson also emailed her ex-husband – posing as Mrs Kayll – while she was on a life-support machine in hospital, the court heard.
Estranged husband Ian Kayll told the court receiving the email was ‘quite chilling’.
When Robson was arrested and interviewed, he did not answer detectives’ questions but in a prepared statement said he was ‘broken’ by her death and claimed someone attacked him when he visited her home.
Mr Lumley told jurors the way Robson and Mrs Kayll got together was ‘a little unusual’, saying their relationship behind bars had been secret and ‘clandestine’.
She had worked as a prison officer and then prison teacher and separated from her husband in 2018.
Mrs Kayll and Robson ‘resumed’ their relationship ‘in the outside world’, the prosecution said, when he was released in Autumn 2018 – but they split in 2020, leaving her upset.
Mr Lumley told the jury her subsequent relationship with the 15-year-old was against the law, and she told ‘white lies’ to hide the truth.
Under cross-examination the boy agreed they had argued on the day she died over her plans to meet a male friend.
Mrs Kayll texted him: ‘There’s no-one else, I love you.’
James Mulholland QC, defending, asked the teenager a series of questions, suggesting the boy had attacked Mrs Kayll, all of which he denied.
Murder victim Caroline Kayll had worked hard for her ‘good lifestyle’, her estranged husband told jurors.
The 47-year-old had previously worked as a social worker, a police officer in Cumbria, a prison officer, took on a teaching role behind bars, then moved to a school role, Newcastle Crown Court heard.
She met her husband Ian Kayll in 2002 after she started work at HMP Northumberland, where he was a manager.
They remained on good terms after they separated, he told Newcastle Crown Court, and would still meet up every few weeks.
He heard a rumour she had been seen with ex-HMP Northumberland inmate Paul Robson, 50, who denies her murder, blackmail and the attempted murder of a 15-year-old boy.
Mr Kayll told the court: ‘I asked Caroline if the rumours were true and she categorically said no and got quite upset I had asked her.’
He told the court she had done well in her new role teaching in a school, swiftly gaining a promotion.
‘She really enjoyed her job working with the children and got on well with the staff,’ he said.
A keen horse-rider, she had two horses at a farm two miles away and a border terrier called Boxer who was always by her side, Mr Kayll said.
She owned her own home, he said, adding: ‘Caroline had a good lifestyle, she worked very hard for what she had.’
Mr Kayll said they shared the profits when they sold their marital home.
The court has heard Robson blackmailed her about her relationship with the boy and that after paying him £29,000, she was left with ‘precious little’ savings.
Mr Kayll said she wanted to meet him, which he had agreed to do, but she cancelled and when he asked what she had wanted to discuss, she replied ‘money’.
Mrs Kayll was friendly with Neil Welsh, who worked at the farm where she stabled her horses and they spoke regularly, he told the court.
Mr Welsh said she confided in him that after she split up from Robson, she was seeing someone much younger, claiming he was 18.
Mr Welsh told the court: ‘I had a joke about it at the time and said my daughter was the same age, but you see younger people and older people on the telly all the time, but he was old enough so I didn’t hold a grudge.’
She had had cancer, had undergone a hysterectomy and could not have children, the court heard.
Murder accused Paul Robson’s background as a cagefighter could help the jury decide what happened, the prosecution said.
Newcastle Crown Court was shown two photos of the 50-year-old fighting in the ring and was told he was experienced in mixed martial arts (MMA).
The former convict, from Stanley Street, Wallsend, North Tyneside, denies murdering his ex-partner Caroline Kayll at her home in Linton, Northumberland, and the attempted murder of a 15-year-old boy she had started seeing.
Nicholas Lumley QC, prosecuting, told the jury about Robson’s CV which spoke of his gym work and how he delivered fitness programmes, and mentioned his email address which started ‘cageconditioningcoach’.
Mr Lumley said: ‘There is nothing wrong in being physically fit, nothing illegal about MMA, but his sporting prowess and his strength, on which he had worked for many years, may be relevant when you come to consider any of the issues raised in their case.’
When Robson was arrested in Glasgow, he was ‘belligerent’ with Northumbria Police officers who went to collect him, demanding they give him back his spectacles which had been seized, Mr Lumley said.
The jury was shown a video of Robson shouting at officers: ‘Don’t think I’m some sort of mug, I have been here before.’
He did not answer detectives’ questions but gave a prepared statement which said he was ’emotionally spent’ and was finding it difficult to concentrate.
‘I cannot believe Caroline’s dead,’ he said. ‘The whole thing is like a nightmare, like a bad dream. I’m so tired and I am devastated.’
Robson said he went to her house and they argued. ‘Then I was hit from behind on my head and back and then I fell forward.
‘I recall feeling something around my throat. I remember feeling dazed, sick and scared. I felt like everything was unravelling.’
Robson said he left and contacted his solicitor when he learned she had died.
‘In all the circumstances I am not in a position to sensibly answer any questions,’ the statement concluded.
James Mulholland QC, defending, said Robson had grown cannabis at his flat and was drying it in Mrs Kayll’s garage.
He also possessed a number of expensive designer watches which he kept at their former home.
Mr Mulholland suggested to Mrs Kayll’s friend, Neil Welsh, that this explained why Robson was asking for money from her, as she had disposed of the drugs and watches. Mr Welsh denied the suggestion.