A man has been convicted of raping and murdering his childhood friend on the way home from celebrating her birthday.
Wesley Streete, 20, had claimed he had “accidentally killed” Keeley Bunker during sex.
Her body was found hidden under branches in a brook in Tamworth, Staffordshire, on 19 September 2019.
Streete was also convicted of two further charges of rape and three counts of sexual assault relating to three other female victims.
It took a jury at Stafford Crown Court just over eight hours to convict the former warehouse packer, who had initially claimed to have left Ms Bunker to walk home alone after the pair had met up the previous night at a Birmingham nightclub.
Ms Bunker was not seen alive again, and by the following evening, searches were under way involving her family, close friends and police.
Streete was taken by police in a marked patrol car to retrace their movements, consistently claiming that when he and Ms Bunker parted she was still alive.
At that time he told officers “I feel like you’re blaming me” after they took his phone as part of the investigation.
The court heard her body was discovered that evening by her uncle Jason Brown, who was in a search party combing a park near a telephone box where Streete told police Ms Bunker and he parted ways.
Mr Brown found his niece with her underwear pulled down over her trainers. The court heard how he let out a “horrendous scream” at the sight.
A post-mortem examination found she had been strangled and Streete’s DNA was on her body.
Streete was arrested shortly after and the court heard he changed his account of the events at least four times.