Spurned lover beat woman to death, court told

Oldham Advertiser - - NEWS - KATIE STOREY katie.storey@men­media.co.uk @katiestoreyMEN

AS­PURNED lover bat­tered his part­ner to death be­fore try­ing to con­ceal the mur­der by send­ing texts from her mo­bile phone, a court heard.

Steven Dunks, of Shaw, 45, is al­leged to have flown into a drunken rage be­fore killing Lynn Howarth, 43, at her home in Bo­leyn Court, Hey­wood, af­ter she started a re­la­tion­ship with an­other man.

A mur­der trial at Manch­ester Crown Court heard the attack was so vi­cious her jaw snapped off and both her eye sock­ets were frac­tured.

Fol­low­ing the bru­tal mur­der Mr Dunks is al­leged to have stolen Ms Howarth’s Black­berry mo­bile, be­fore spend­ing the next month send­ing texts to her fam­ily and friends pre­tend­ing to be her in a bid to cover his tracks.

The trial also heard how he al­legedly stole her bank card and cleared out her ac­count.

Mr Dunks, of Mil­nrow Road, de­nies mur­der.

Ms Howarth’s de­com­posed body was dis­cov­ered a month af­ter her death when neigh­bours no­ti­fied po­lice of a strong odour com­ing from the flat. She was found on the kitchen floor.

Pros­e­cut­ing,

Robert Hall said: “The attack was so force­ful and sus­tained that it re­sulted in very se­vere and ex­ten­sive frac­tures to the bones in her face.

“It snapped her jaw clean off and frac­tured both her eye sock­ets.

“The re­sult was that death quickly fol­lowed.”

Mr Dunks and Ms Howarth had known each other since they were chil­dren and had been in an on-off re­la­tion­ship since 2013, but Mr Dunks was also see­ing an­other woman.

The court heard Ms Howarth be­came frus­trated with the sit­u­a­tion and wanted to end the re­la­tion­ship.

Her di­ary

en­tries showed that she was grad­u­ally try­ing to cut con­tact with Mr Dunks.

She met an­other man on Face­book and the pair be­gan a re­la­tion­ship, but when Mr Dunks found out he was said to have turned up at the flat and threat­ened the pair, al­legedly shout­ing: “I love her and I would rather see her dead than with any­one else.”

On July 26, last year, Ms Howarth and Mr Dunks had been drink­ing in Hey­wood town cen­tre.

The pros­e­cu­tion say the pair left separately, with Mr Dunks fol­low­ing Ms Howarth home be­fore car­ry­ing out the fa­tal attack.

The trial is ex­pected to last two weeks. Pro­ceed­ing

●● Lynn Howarth’s body was dis­cov­ered in a flat in Hey­wood

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