A caretaker allegedly murdered a missing woman from Deptford and placed her body in a bin before it was incinerated at a rubbish processing plant, a court has heard.

Maureen Gitau, 24, was last seen by her family as she left her home address in Deptford, south-east London, on December 5 last year, and was reported missing five days later.

After leaving home, it is alleged that she was taken by 55-year-old Mark Moodie to a block of flats where he worked, and never left the building alive.

Prosecutor Jocelyn Ledward told Woolwich Crown Court that he was seen moving a large communal waste bin around the basement of Richmond House in Deptford, and it was later seen outside the cleaners’ room by some of the block’s residents.

He later allegedly placed it back in the bin store and covered her body up with rubbish, the court heard.

The prosecutor told jurors: “The prosecution case is that Maureen Gitau never left that building alive and therefore, on the face of it, simply vanished into thin air… in a quite horrifyingly literal way.

“The rubbish was collected a few days later, and taken to a processing plant, where it seems inevitable that Maureen Gitau’s body was incinerated very quickly, possibly even before she was ever reported missing.

“Certainly, her body has not been recovered despite an extensive search.

“In a nutshell, the defendant must have murdered Maureen Gitau that night and disposed of her body in the rubbish bin, disposed of her mobile telephone and made false statements to the police about her movements and his knowledge of her whereabouts, in order to cover up his crime.”

The court heard the pair had both worked as cleaners at the Oval cricket ground in the summer of 2022, where they are said to have been “more than just work colleagues”.

They were in phone contact almost every day between July and September that year and kept in touch far less frequently until the night of the alleged murder, the prosecution said.

The defendant, from Woolwich in south-east London, denies murder and two counts of perverting the course of justice.

The trial continues.