Before he bludgeoned her to death with a metal bar in the shower of their London flat, Australian Amy Parsons appeared to be enjoying an enviable life with her English fiance, Rod Deakin-White.

On the surface at least, it was happy and normal and 35-year-old Parsons seemed the lucky one.

There was no hint of Deakin-White's dark psychopathic jealousy, nor his alter ego as a makeup wearing woman called "Jane".

By early 2018, after an eight-year romance, Amy and Rod, 37, were reportedly headed for the altar to celebrate their "long-awaited wedding".

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The union would seal her membership of the respected Deakin-White real estate family based in the affluent English market town of Dunstable, reports news.com.au.

Amy Parsons and Rod Deakin-White were due to be married, but she could not stand his cross-dressing or his controlling ways. Photo / Facebook
Amy Parsons and Rod Deakin-White were due to be married, but she could not stand his cross-dressing or his controlling ways. Photo / Facebook

Amy was comfortable with the Deakin-Whites, and Rod was already a part of Amy's Melbourne family.

Each half of the couple smiled out from photographs posed with their partner's parents. Their mothers would comment on one another's Facebook pages with affectionate posts.

The Deakin-Whites and the Parsons had known each other for years.

Rod knew Amy's sister Eve who also lived with her partner, Jacqueline Leung, in London, having moved there in 2011. The following year, Amy followed her sister to the capital.

Both sisters worked as executive assistants, Amy at financial services firm, Old Mutual.

It was there Amy met James Saunders, a tall dark Englishman with whom she began having coffees

Parsons' growing bond with Saunders would crack open the truth about her life with Deakin-White, which had begun to unravel.

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A graphic designer who had worked at the Royal Opera House, Deakin-White was also a keen photographer but only had intermittent, freelance jobs.

Amy paid most of the bills.

Another of Deakin-White's hobbies was cross-dressing, and at home in their flat in the London suburb of Whitechapel, in London's East End, Deakin-White would regularly don women's underwear, stockings and make-up, and had a Facebook page featuring him as a female alter-ego called Jane.

He would later tell a London court it was his form of escapism.

Behind the smiles all was not well between Amy Parsons and her fiance Roderick Deakin-White who brutally killed her. Photo / Facebook
Behind the smiles all was not well between Amy Parsons and her fiance Roderick Deakin-White who brutally killed her. Photo / Facebook

Behind closed doors, however, his fiancee Amy was becoming frustrated with Deakin-White's private transformations and found their sex life unsatisfying.

Parsons returned to Melbourne in January last year to celebrate her engagement to Deakin-White with her mother Leonie and father Michael, and catch up with old friends.

Almost a month before her death, she was photographed smiling as she sat outside over an Easter meal and wine with Rod, his mother, brother and their partners.

But in her last fortnight alive, Parsons had embarked on a sexual relationship with Saunders after a couple of coffee dates blossomed into romance.

The pair had sex for the first time on April 14, 2018 after lunch at an Australian restaurant in London. Parsons and Saunders slept together at his flat four times.

When Deakin-White learned about Parson's new romance, they had a fight.

Amy Parsons followed Roderick Deakin-White to London, but when she told him she was leaving after a decade-long romance he bludgeoned her to death in the shower. Photo / Facebook
Amy Parsons followed Roderick Deakin-White to London, but when she told him she was leaving after a decade-long romance he bludgeoned her to death in the shower. Photo / Facebook

Parsons reportedly told him her new lover "knows how to handle me" and that if she became pregnant to Deakin-White she would abort the child.

Deakin-White texted Saunders on April 18, saying "What are you playing at? Back off."

Deakin-White had also had WhatsApp conversations with his and Parsons' neighbour, Theresa Riccio, at the Chi apartments in Whitechapel.

"Should I fight for her or do you think I've lost her?" he asked Riccio.

He asked if he should try to stop her talking to Saunders, and agonised over where he had gone wrong and how to keep her at all costs.

"I can't lose her … I blame myself somewhat, I pushed her to him," he said in a message to Riccio.

"As much as I try, I keep f***ing up."

Rod Deakin-White could not accept that Amy Parsons was moving on and he picked up a metal bar and killed her. Photo / Supplied
Rod Deakin-White could not accept that Amy Parsons was moving on and he picked up a metal bar and killed her. Photo / Supplied

To rekindle their relationship, he messaged an idea: "Random one, think I should lose the man bun," he said.

On April 24, the night before she was killed, Parsons again stayed over with Saunders.

The pair had told each other that they loved one another, and Parsons indicated she was now going to end her relationship with her fiance.

In response to Saunders' query about whether she was going to have a "final round" with Deakin-White, Parsons said "Oh yes, God yes".

On Wednesday, April 25, 2018, Parsons returned to the Chi apartments to tell Deakin-White of her decision.

She texted Saunders that night, saying "I don't know how tonight is going to pan out, he's not accepting anything I say".

Another of her texts read "He's trying to make all these changes and grand gestures and I'm like, 'No I don't want it' … But he's not backing off".

Deakin-White stormed out of the flat.

Saunders sent Parsons a text saying he was glad to have "helped you through this".

Parson's last message to her new lover was a heart emoji.

At 8.13pm, Deakin White returned home to their fifth floor apartment find Parsons having a shower.

He later told Snaresbrook Crown Court Parson's decision had left him feeling suicidal.

"I was pacing between rooms, I had already passed her the toothbrush," he said.

The next thing Deakin-White picked up was a metal "chin up" bar from by the front door.

It was kept there as a precaution against a break-in to the flat.

As Parsons stood in the bath, facing the shower head, Deakin-White raised the bar in his two hands and struck her twice on the back of the head.

In a sustained attack, he rained down more blows which smashed Parson's tooth, and split her jaw.

She screamed as slipped over in the bath, the force of Deakin-White's blows shearing off the screw on the end of the exercise bar.

Naked, and bleeding out on the bathroom floor, Parsons made "gurgling" sounds before finally falling quiet.

"I didn't stop until I thought she was dead," Deakin-White told his court trial.

"I left the bathroom, it was suddenly over, and I kind of regained my sense of where I was."

Deakin-White said the murder was an
Deakin-White said the murder was an "accident" but now faces life in a British prison. Photo / Facebook

He turned off the bathroom light and covered his bloody clothes with a coat, then left the flat.

At 9.16pm, Saunders sent a message to Parsons' phone, saying "Let me know how you're doing" and, 30 minutes later, another text.

By then Parsons had died from traumatic brain injury, while also suffering horrific injuries to her head and face.

CCTV of Deakin-White leaving the apartment building showed him looking at a phone.

After fleeing the scene, he went to a friend's place where he confessed that he had killed his fiance, although he would later only admit to manslaughter, saying it was an "accident".

Emergency services broke into the flat and found Parsons' bloodied, naked body.

Scotland Yard detective Darren Jones would later said Parsons "paid the ultimate price because of Deakin-White's controlling, selfish and violent nature."

"He relied on Amy's financial support and I believe he could not stand the fact that she was moving on and refused to be taken advantage of any more," Det Insp Jones said.

"Amy had become aware of what kind of person he was and was beginning to take steps to leave Deakin-White.

"These steps included a new relationship, free from Deakin-White's coercive and abusive behaviour.

"Because of this, Deakin-White launched a vicious and brutal attack on Amy, without warning and in her own home, where she should have been safe and secure."

At Snareswood court this week, Judge John Lafferty told the jury: "The murder itself was dreadful, a ghastly killing.

"This naked woman was deliberately bludgeoned in the face, naked and unable to defend herself."

The jury found Deakin-White guilty of murder and he potentially faces life in prison for the crime.

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE - DO YOU NEED HELP?

If it's an emergency and you feel that you or someone else is at risk, call 111.

If you're in danger now:

• Phone the police on 111 or ask neighbours of friends to ring for you.

• Run outside and head for where there are other people.

• Scream for help so that your neighbours can hear you.

• Take the children with you.

• Don't stop to get anything else.

• If you are being abused, remember it's not your fault. Violence is never okay

Where to go for help or more information:

• Women's Refuge: Free national crisis line operates 24/7 - 0800 refuge or 0800 733 843

• Shine, free national helpline 9am- 11pm every day - 0508 744 633

• It's Not Ok: Information line 0800 456 450

• Shakti: Providing specialist cultural services for African, Asian and middle eastern women and their children. Crisis line 24/7 0800 742 584

• Ministry of Justice:

• National Network of Stopping Violence:

• White Ribbon: Aiming to eliminate men's violence towards women, focusing this year on sexual violence and the issue of consent.

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