Teenager accused of trans woman murder found innocent

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

The 18-year-old accused of strangling transsexual Kellie Telesford was found not guilty today.

Shanniel Hyatt, 18, stood accused of killing the 39-year-old pre-op trans woman with a scarf after a date in Norbury, reports the Croydon Guardian.

Ms Telesford was found dead in her bedroom three days after the attack.

Sally O’Neill QC, prosecuting, said that Mr Hyatt went back to Ms Telesford’s flat on the evening of November 17th and, after she had performed oral sex on him, he became angry when he discovered she was a transsexual.

Mr Hyatt told police after his arrest on November 29th that he did not know she was trans woman during the time he spent with her and denied that he had found out at her flat and become violent.

Mr Hyatt admitted to stealing Ms Telesford’s mobile phone, Freeview box, DVD
player and Oyster card, but said that she had been ‘fit and well’ when he left and denied murder.

He was later cleared of murder and the alternative of manslaughter after the jury spend four hours deliberating.

Mr Hyatt’s barrister Joanna Greenberg QC suggested that Ms Telesford died during a sex game with another man after her client had left.

Judge Paul Worsley QC said: ‘Shanniel Hyatt, you have been found not guilty of being involved in the killing of Kellie Telesford.

‘You are discharged in respect of this matter although I understand you will remain in custody in respect of other matters.’

Mr Hyatt, an illegal immigrant from Jamaica, will now face deportation.