Chilling moment ‘deceitful’ stuntman killer, 32, held his French filmmaker ex-girlfriend’s hand and strokes her knee on a London bus just hours before he strangled her to death, buried her body in a shallow grave and fled to Estonia
- Kirill Belorusov, 32, throttled French film producer Laureline Garcia-Bertaux, 34, after months of deception
- He bound her naked body, put her in a bin liner and buried her in a flower bed in her Kew garden below her flat
- Belorusov went upstairs to watch porn in her flat before fleeing to Estonia while sending texts to her friends
- Self-confessed ‘a***hole’ denied murder but was convicted at Old Bailey after just two hours of deliberation
- ‘I watch videos of her just to hear her voice’: Court hears mother’s poignant victim impact statement
This is the horrifying moment a ‘cold and calculating’ killer who strangled his ex and buried her in a flower bed held her hand and stroked her knee just hours before the premeditated murder.
Estonian stuntman Kirill Belorusov, 32, who claimed to be Brad Pitt’s body double in World War Z, killed Laureline Garcia-Bertaux, 34, before trying to hide her in the garden of her own flat in Kew using a murder kit he put together in Homebase.
Today Scotland Yard released footage of her final hours with Bolurusov, who wined and dined her at a luxury Richmond restaurant on the night of Friday, March 1, before heading home on the bus holding her hand and caressing her leg.
The following day they went shopping at Pets at Home and Argos for new belongings after habitual liar Bolurusov told her he had found her a new flat in South London and would help her move on the Sunday.
But on the Saturday night, knowing that his lies would unravel when no removal van arrived the following morning, he strangled her to death with a cable over four minutes with ‘brutal and clinical precision.’
It later emerged he owed Laureline thousands of pounds – but had made up a pancreatic cancer diagnosis to avoid paying her back. He also had two other girlfriends he was lying to.
Prosecutor Oliver Glasgow had told the court: ‘The last few moments of Laureline’s life must have been truly terrifying as he squeezed the life out of her. She realised the man who cared for her was a cheat and a killer.
‘Laureline was a problem that had to be removed and the only way to do that was to silence her once and for all. And as a bonus he walked away with the money he owed her’.
Belorusov buried her with a cable around her neck, her arms were bound behind her back and she was wrapped in bin bags secured with duct tape all bought in the local Homebase.
After watching porn in her flat and sending texts to Laureline’s friends from her phone in a bid to cover up the murder he fled to his native Estonia where he was arrested and extradited back to the UK.
A jury of seven women and five men at the Old Bailey found him guilty of murder in just two hours today.
A victim impact statement read on behalf of Laureline’s mother Frederique Bertaux said: ‘The death of one’s own child goes against nature. There is not a moment during the day I don’t think of my Laureline. I can’t touch her, I can’t kiss her anymore. I watch videos of her just to hear her voice, hear her laugh, to see how she moves.
‘I would give anything to hear her happy moments, sad moments, and to hear her say “mum I love you”. It’s incredibly hard to begin to describe my sorrow, my heartbreak.’
Kirill Belorusov, 32, took Laureline Garcia-Bertaux, 34, for a romantic meal, holding her hand on the bus home (left) and then taking her to Argos (right) to buy things for a new flat knowing he would murder her hours later
After watching porn in her flat and sending texts to Laureline’s friends from her phone in a bid to cover up the murder the killer fled to his native Estonia (pictured at Luton Airport) where he was arrested and extradited back to the UK
CCTV of Kirill Belorusov leaving his local Homebase having bought an axe, rubber clogs, rubble sacks and compost after he killed his victim and wanted to bury her
Belorusov bought his murder kit to Laureline Garcia-Bertaux, creeping up on her from behind while she was naked and strangling her for four minutes with ‘brutal precision’
Kirill Belorusov was today convicted of the murder of Laureline in Kew, south-west London in November 2018
Laureline’s mother Frederique Bertaux, her brother Florentine and Beth Penman, his fiancee leave the Old Bailey after the guilty verdict. Her killer will be sentenced on Friday
Ms Bertaux’s statement went on: ‘Losing a child is like having one of your own limbs cut off – a constant pain that nothing can relieve.
Laureline Garcia Bertaux, 34, believed that she and her killer had a future together but he saw her as a ‘a problem that had to be removed’
‘My darling, you’re not here but you’re all around me. I love you and I will love you forever.’
Judge Nicholas Hilliard QC said ofBelorusov: ‘I’m entirely satisfied the defendant is not someone who believes the lies he tells.
‘He just tells them on a scale and magnitude which I have not encountered before. I do not believe he has ever had cancer. I’m entirely sure of that.’
Belorusov, a self-confessed ‘a***hole’ had ‘calmly and methodically’ throttled Miss Garcia-Bertaux, 34, for four minutes in March after tormenting her with emotional abuse for months.
CCTV showed Belorusov buying a murder kit of bin bags, duct tape, plastic clogs, rubble sacks, an axe and compost from Homebase.
He wrapped her body buried it in a shallow grave in the garden of her flat in Kew and then fled to his native Estonia to try to evade arrest – only after settling down to watch porn videos in her home.
He sent text messages from Ms Garcia-Bertaux’s phone to her friends saying she was planning a ‘boob job’ or ‘lypo’ and expressing her delight at a fictitious new home.
One message said: ‘I went to see the house it’s BEAUTIFUL! And Kirill gave me another £7,000 so I’m going on a shopping spree… And he transferred another £10,000 a week ago… And he left…Housewarming party is coming real soon…So hot tub and boob lift.’
Belorusov was captured on CCTV buying items including an axe and rubble sacks in Homebase to dispose of her body, jurors heard.
Belorusov fled to Estonia, while Ms Garcia-Bertaux was reported missing by worried friends after she failed to turn up to work at PR firm Golin, where she was an executive assistant.
She also worked as a producer in the television and film industry and had worked with Dame Joan Collins on the 2018 short film Gerry.
The Victim’s mother Frederique Bertaux hugs Laureline’s friend Samantha Collot after leaving the Old Bailey following the guilty verdict – delivered unanimously in just two hours by a jury
Kirill Belorusov (left) murdered his ex Laureline Garcia-Bertaux (right) after tormenting her about her weight. He also pretended to have cancer to gain her sympathy
Miss Garcia-Bertaux’s body was found in the back garden of a semi-detached house in Kew
The actress said she was ‘shocked by the horrifying news’ after hearing of her death.
Timeline: How killer conned and then murdered his victim before fleeing Britain
March 1: Belorusov travelled to Richmond at 6pm to meet Ms Garcia-Bertuax’s flat. He was caught on CCTV waiting in and around the station until Ms Garcia-Bertuax arrived at 6:45pm and the two of them then walked to a restaurant called the Jackson & Rye.
A waitress who served them that evening remembered them, she described them as comfortable in each other’s company and holding hands but at times Ms Garcia-Bertaux could be seen dabbing at her eyes.
‘After dinner, the two of them caught a bus home and went to bed.
March 2: Belorusov did not sleep well and in the early hours used his mobile telephone to access gaming sites, internet pornography and his Facebook account.
The following morning, they went shopping at Homebase where Belorusov bought pliers. Then they went to Pets at Home, where he purchased dog food and chew toys doubtless for the two dogs that they shared. He is believed to have strangled her to death at her flat.
March 3: He then went back to Homebase where he asked about buying duct tape. The CCTV from the store recorded him purchasing some plastic clogs, rubble sacks, an axe and compost,
March 5: Ms Garcia-Bertaux, was reported missing after failing to turn up for work at PR firm Golin, where she was an executive assistant.
March 20: The killer is arrested in Estonia.
Belorusov was likened to a ‘Bond villain’ by his own barrister after he admitted he had ‘psychologically waterboarded’ Ms Garcia-Bertaux, who he described as his ‘product’.
He repeatedly mocked her about her weight and sagging breasts while winning her sympathy by pretending he was being treated for cancer.
In the days before her murder Belorusov promised Ms Garcia-Bertaux they could move into a new house together while he manipulated a string of other women.
His hold over her was so complete that he she excitedly texted her friends about her new home while sending him the nude pictures of herself he demanded.
Belorusov had swindled another lover called ‘Agnes’ out of £11,362 and used £400 of the money to wine and dine a third woman while claiming he was at a clinic getting emergency treatment.
The killer had a relationship with barmaid Sabrina Severino in the months leading up to the murder and treated her to dinner at luxury Russian restaurant Novikov and a night at a casino.
Belorusov had previously bragged of his knowledge of death holds to her and choked her until she almost passed out when they worked together at nightclub Egg London.
He had borrowed thousands of pounds from Ms Garcia-Bertaux and was desperate to move out of her flat into their new home.
Belorusov had been promising to send her the address for weeks and murdered her when he ran out of lies and the victim became ‘a problem that had to be removed.’
Ms Garcia-Bertaux had booked a removal van and packed her belongings to move out the day after he strangled her.
The stuntman, who claims to have appeared as Brad Pitt’s double in action movie World War Z, crept up on the naked victim from behind before strangling her.
Belorusov denied murder but was convicted by an Old Bailey jury of seven women and five men today.
Pictured: The incident tent police erected over the shallow grave in which the French TV producer’s naked body was found
Ms Garcia-Bertaux’s mother Frédérique Bertaux sat stony-faced as the unanimous verdict was announced.
The Recorder of London, Judge Nicholas Hilliard is expected to sentence Belorusov at a later date.
Earlier prosecutor Oliver Glasgow said: ‘It is difficult to conceive of someone behaving in a more calculated or callous manner.
‘The last few moments of Laureline’s life must have been truly terrifying as he squeezed the life out of her.
‘She realised the man who cared for her was a cheat and a killer.
‘The killing itself was four slow minutes in which he calmly and methodically killed the woman he claimed to care for.
‘It was the kind of calculated and selfish callousness that only a man who would lie about his impending death could show.
‘Anyone who can lie to people who care about them just to punish them can only think about himself.
Frédérique Bertaux, the mother of Laureline Garcia-Bertaux, outside the Old Bailey today
‘There was no way he could play out his lies to a successful conclusion as Laureline was a problem that had to be removed and the only way to do that was to silence her once and for all.
‘And as a bonus he walked away with the money he owed her.
‘A talented young woman who was loved by all who knew her was killed with brutal and clinical precision and then disposed of with utter disdain.’
Mr Glasgow said Belorusov ‘lied his way from woman to woman.’
‘He is someone who has tricked them into caring for him, someone who has deceived them into shedding tears for an illness he may never have had.
‘He pitied her, he rubbished and demeaned her whenever he could.
‘He called himself a monster and tried to make a joke out of how the messages made him look.
‘He said he poked her because he’s cruel and mean he took advantage of what she was most vulnerable about, her appearance, money, a roof over her head.
‘She was, as he told you, his product – he worked on her for ten years.
‘In his pity he crushed her neck with such force that the pathologist had never seen such severe signs of asphyxia is was he said as if something had fallen on her chest – until his arms ached.’
The killer correctly guessed his victim’s WiFi password to be his own name, kirillbelorusov1′ and used it to watch Pornhub in the hours after the murder.
CCTV footage of Kirill Belorusov dated March 3 2019 (left) in a Homebase store after he allegedly killed the victim. Three days later he is in Luton airport (right) where he took a flight to his home country Estonia
The Russian used Ms Garcia-Bertaux’s phone to mimic her in texts sent to her best friend Beth Penman in a bid to cover his tracks.
He translated messages into French to send to her family as he made his plans to escape to Tallinn in Estonia from where he was extradited.
Ms Garcia-Bertaux, was reported missing on March 5 after failing to turn up for work.
Her body was found the following day in the back garden of her home in Darell Road, Kew.
The court heard he was born in northern Russia where his father Oleg was stationed in the military.
He served in the navy for four years before joining his best friend in London to practice his English in 2009.
Belorusov worked as a nightclubs bouncer and was cast as extra in films, progressing to fight choreography for two years.
Ms Garcia-Bertaux was originally from Aix-en-Provence and had worked in the film and producing industry.
At the time of her death she was employed as an executive assistant for PR firm Golin.
The couple met at a gig in London in 2009 and began dating shortly afterwards.
He told the court: ‘We spent the whole of the night walking and walking and walking, and in the morning I decided to get to her place and she invited me over. She said ‘yes’ and I never left,’ he said.
Belorusov said they had separated in 2016 after ‘a slow build-up over years’ and at the time their dog Jazz was ‘the only thing connecting us.’
The victim’s mother sat in the well of the court helped by a French translator as Belorusov giggled while messages he sent to her daughter her were read to the court.
‘Will it be possible for some nudies to keep me motivated and happy until Friday?’ one read.
‘I wanna see all of you, please be kinky.
‘Me want booby and you naked and pretty. I miss your soft curvy self.’
Asked why he was laughing the killer said: ‘I guess we just find different things funny.’
He said he had sent messages to ‘poke and annoy’ her and had been emotionally ‘waterboarding’ the victim for more than a year while he spun a web of lies about the house he had found.
‘Waterboarding is a technique of torture is it? What does it mean to you?’ Mr Glasgow asked.
The Estonian replied: ‘Just mental nagging, I guess.
Belorusov said he gaslighted the victim in order to ‘force-feed her maturity’ and ‘teach her a lesson’ but insisted a mystery person was responsible for the killing.
Phone evidence placed him in the area but at the time but Belorusov claimed he sat on a park bench at the end of Ms Garcia-Bertaux’s road eating pork scratchings and drinking beer all night until 7.30am.
‘I got to the park and I saw a bench and I just couldn’t resist sitting on it,’ Belorusov told jurors.
‘Sitting there with his shaved head he looked like an archetypal Bond villain,’ his barrister Martin Rutherford told the court.
The barrister added Belorusov might have behaved like an ‘a***hole’ but that did not necessarily mean he was a killer too.
Belorusov, of no fixed address, denied but was convicted of murder.