Violent boyfriend who choked his girlfriend to death after an incredible ice binge before leaving her body in Chinatown was suffering from an ‘untreated schizophrenic illness’
- Christopher Allen Bell, 33, pleaded guilty to the murder of Natalina Angok, 32
- Ms Angok’s body was found early on April 24, 2019, in a laneway in Melbourne
- Bell killed Ms Angok after an ice and alcohol ‘bender’ in the city and left her body
- Doctors believe he suffered untreated schizophrenic illness for five years before
Natalina Angok was a sweet soul with a heart of gold, whose life was ended by a man she chose to love.
The 32-year-old, described as the light of her family, was strangled to death in a Melbourne laneway by her boyfriend in April last year.
Christopher Allen Bell, 33, had a history of family violence against Ms Angok throughout their nine-month relationship.
Natalina Angok was strangled to death in a Melbourne laneway by her boyfriend in April last year
Christopher Allen Bell, 33, had a history of family violence against Ms Angok throughout their nine-month relationship
A police officer is seen on Little Bourke St where Ms Angok’s dead body was found on April 24, 2019
He pleaded guilty to killing her in the early hours of April 24 last year after an ice and alcohol ‘bender’ in the city.
When police confronted Bell about the discovery of Ms Angok’s body in a Chinatown laneway he initially claimed ‘I don’t have a girlfriend’, but told them he sometimes had blackout episodes.
He later admitted he ‘choked the life out of her until she breathed no longer’.
CCTV captured their final evening together. Prosecutor Jeremy McWilliam told a pre-sentence hearing in Victoria’s Supreme Court that Bell had tried to steal a bottle of wine from a liquor store and aggressively challenged a security guard to a fight after he was caught.
Ms Angok apologised to staff for his behaviour, and a taxi driver who picked them up said she had been angry and upset with him afterwards.
They went to a hotel and later walked through Chinatown, where they were shown having ‘animated’ discussions.
Bell (right) admitted he ‘choked the life out of her until she breathed no longer’
Ms Angok’s body was found in Little Bourke St (pictured) in Melbourne on April 24 last year
Ms Angok was strangled to death by Bell. She fought back during the fatal attack and Bell’s DNA, from a scratch on his neck, was found under her fingernails
Just after 5am Ms Angok walked into Celestial Avenue, followed by Bell. Her body was found there by a member of the public at around 6.30am.
Bell described his memory of the incident as ‘hazy like it was real but not real’.
His lawyer Rohan Lawrence said Bell was remorseful.
‘He reports he immediately regretted what he had done and was weeping while berating himself,’ he said.
But he then spent an hour gambling at Crown Casino and bought food, cigarettes, wine and an Anzac badge.
He had been released from prison shortly before meeting Ms Angok and was released from inpatient mental health care a week before the murder.
‘You were supposed to love and protect her … even if my life depended on it, I will never forgive you,’ Ms Angok’s sister said
Doctors believe Ms Angok had become part of his complex delusions and that he had suffered untreated schizophrenic illness for four to five years beforehand.
She had been encouraged to leave Bell by her sister in the days before her death, because of Ms Angok’s concerns he would kill her.
‘You were supposed to love and protect her … even if my life depended on it, I will never forgive you,’ she said.
Ms Angok fought back during the fatal attack. Bell’s DNA, from a scratch on his neck, was found under her fingernails.
Bell has four children from two previous relationships, but no longer has contact with them.
Justice Lex Lasry said there appeared to be a ‘well entrenched pattern’ of violence by Mr Bell against partners, including before the onset of his schizophrenic symptoms in 2014.
The hearing is continuing.