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Vancouver man beat his girlfriend to death and lived with the decomposed body for several weeks: Crown

Keith Fraser, Postmedia Network

Handout image of Daniel Alphonse Paul, whom police are treating as a suspect in the slaying of Rose Paul. Rose Paul was found head on March 3, 2015, in the east Vancouver home that she shared with Daniel Paul and her five children. (Vancouver Police Department handout)

Handout image of Daniel Alphonse Paul, whom police are treating as a suspect in the slaying of Rose Paul. Rose Paul was found head on March 3, 2015, in the east Vancouver home that she shared with Daniel Paul and her five children. (Vancouver Police Department handout)

A Vancouver man beat his girlfriend to death in his apartment and then lived with the decomposed body for several weeks, attempting to conceal the murder, a prosecutor said Monday.

Daniel Alphonse Paul, 45, has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder in the 2015 death of Crystal Rose Paul, 36, a mother of five, in the accused’s apartment on East 22nd Avenue near Main.

In his opening statement to a jury, Crown Counsel Daniel Mulligan said that Paul, who was not related or married to the victim although they share the same surname, inflicted a severe beating on his girlfriend some time after Jan. 29, 2015.

The couple both accessed the internet from the same IP address on the day that Rose Paul’s Facebook activity stopped on Jan. 29, 2015, suggesting that they were in the same place, said Mulligan.

“It will be obvious that Mr. Paul continued living in the suite with Rose Paul's decomposing body in the bedroom for a number of weeks after she was killed,” Mulligan told the jury.

“We will argue that only the person who killed Ms. Paul would do this. There is evidence that Mr. Paul made efforts to conceal what happened.”

Mulligan said that the accused apparently covered the victim’s body with layers of garbage bags and clothing, presumably to stop the odor from spreading, with police later finding many cans of air freshener in the suite.

“When Rose Paul’s daughter, Renee Peters, contacted Mr. Paul to ask why she had not heard from her mother, he offered excuses for her lack of communication even though she was already dead,” said the prosecutor.

“When Renee Peters suggested they file a missing person’s report, Mr. Paul replied that that would be silly.”

Mulligan said that on March 1, 2015, a month after Rose Paul was last heard from, Daniel Paul’s landlady spoke to him about a smell she thought was coming from the suite.

Paul said he was not available so she gave him notice that she was conducting an inspection, he said.

The next morning, before the inspection time, surveillance cameras at the home recorded Paul leaving the property carrying a duffel bag and the landlady never saw him again, said Mulligan.

The landlady ultimately discovered the victim’s body on the floor of the bedroom, said the prosecutor, adding that the body was naked and face down.

Rose Paul’s body was badly decomposed and there was a significant amount of blood spatter on furniture and walls, he said.

“The Crown will rely on circumstantial evidence that suggests she was killed in Daniel Paul's bedroom.”

An autopsy revealed that the victim had multiple blunt force injuries, bruises and cuts to her face, head and body. She also had a missing tooth and a fractured neck bone consistent with strangulation, said Mulligan.

Yennie Hui, Paul’s landlady, testified that Paul was initially “very friendly, very open” when he began renting his suite in the house but over time he appeared to be depressed after losing his job and she saw signs he’d been drinking.

Hui told the jury that in February 2015 she noticed a foul smell in her office located in the home and eventually discovered that it came from Daniel Paul’s suite.

A day after she confronted him, she went to his apartment and when he failed to answer the door, she entered and noticed an “overpowering” smell.

She said she saw some feet in the doorway but thought it was just somebody “stone drunk” and did not investigate until the following day when she and a maintenance worker found a dead body in Paul’s bedroom.

The trial is to continue Tuesday.

kfraser@postmedia.com