ANITA ACCUSED ‘WANTED OFFICERS TO SHOOT HIM’
Cop tells murder trial of call-out
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