Cop tells mur­der trial of call-out

Daily Mirror (Northern Ireland) - - NEWS - BY MICHAEL DONNELLY

A MAN who de­nies the mur­der of his fi­ancee wanted po­lice to shoot him, his trial heard yes­ter­day.

David Ly­ness, 52, is ac­cused of “slic­ing” the throat of Anita Downey in front of his son dur­ing a drunken ar­gu­ment in the early hours of Jan­uary 20 last year.

His trial has al­ready heard the 51-yearold vic­tim was found ly­ing in the living room of Ly­ness’ Tober­hewny Hall home in Lur­gan, Co Ar­magh, with a cut throat.

Ly­ness was ly­ing be­side her with his arm draped over her.

A po­lice of­fi­cer tasked to the house told how Ly­ness, in a slurred voice from be­hind the living room door, claimed he was on the phone to his girl­friend.

The sergeant was then told by Ly­ness his girl­friend Anita was dead and “she had done what he could not do”.

He added Ly­ness be­came an­gry and started swear­ing and “he wanted me, the po­lice to come in and shoot him”.

The sergeant said while wait­ing for col­leagues from the Armed Re­sponse Unit he kept a tight grip on the door han­dle in case Ly­ness “made an at­tempt to com­mit sui­cide by be­ing shot”.

Other of­fi­cers claimed “the male on the other side of the door was shout­ing loudly, ‘She’s dead’, and he wanted to die and wanted po­lice to shoot him”. The Craigavon Crown Court jury of seven men and five women, sit­ting in Belfast, heard a record­ing of the 999 call made by Ly­ness’ son as he fled the scene in fear of his dad. A dis­tressed and sob­bing teen could just be made out telling an op­er­a­tor: “My dad has just sliced his girl­friend’s throat.”

An of­fi­cer told the court the teenager said his fa­ther was al­ready drunk when his girl­friend ar­rived in a taxi and his dad put some mu­sic on.

The court heard how hav­ing con­sumed a num­ber of bot­tles of wine be­tween them they be­gan ar­gu­ing and “Anita flew at David” and be­gan slap­ping him.

The jury was told they ar­gued over an en­gage­ment ring which Ly­ness wanted re­turned and which Ms Downey put in her hand­bag. It is claimed they fought over the bag be­fore Ly­ness armed him­self with a knife. At hear­ing.

IN THE DOCK 52-year-old David Ly­ness

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