Daily Mail

‘Murderer’ claims he accidental­ly killed his ex-girlfriend when he threw axe at tree

- By James Tozer

AN odd-job man accused of murdering his former girlfriend told police that he killed her accidental­ly by throwing an axe at a can on a tree, a jury heard yesterday.

Mother of two Katie Kenyon, 33, vanished in April this year, sparking a massive hunt.

But her body was found a week later buried in a forest. She had suffered 12 head wounds.

A court heard that her exboyfrien­d, Andrew Burfield, 51, was arrested and told police that he killed her by accident when they went for a picnic in Gisburn Forest, Lancashire.

He said that Miss Kenyon ‘ bet’ him he could not hit a Coca-Cola can on the tree with an axe. The jury heard he told officers: ‘I went for the tree at the side of her and... it hit her in the head.’

Burfield claimed he then dug a hole and buried her, the court heard. However, forensic pathologis­t Dr Jamie Robinson found that, due to the nature of Miss Kenyon’s injuries, his account of accidental­ly hitting her with the axe was ‘completely implausibl­e’.

David McLachlan KC, prosecutin­g at Preston Crown Court, said: ‘We now understand Mr Burfield will admit to causing all 12 injuries Katie Kenyon sustained.’ He said Burfield – who had been in an on-off relationsh­ip with Miss Kenyon since 2019 – had borrowed a spade from his father the day before her killing.

Mr McLachlan alleged that night he had been on an ‘important mission’ which was ‘to dig Katie Kenyon’s grave’. He added: ‘He was in the area where her body would later be recovered for just under one hour.’

The court heard Miss Kenyon, from Padiham, near Burnley, messaged Burfield the following morning, saying: ‘ Ready and excited for a new chapter.’

She then drove to his house in Burnley before getting into his van and travelling to Gisburn. The prosecutio­n alleged Burfield spent 42 minutes in the forest, where he killed her and buried her body.

The court heard that technical analysis showed Miss Kenyon’s phone travelling back from Gisburn around 11.15am, but only one person was visible in the van on CCTV.

Mr McLachlan said: ‘ The prosecutio­n case [ is]... the phone may have been in Andrew Burfield’s van but Katie Kenyon certainly was not. Katie Kenyon, the prosecutio­n say, at this stage, was in a carefully constructe­d grave that had been dug the night before by Andrew Burfield.’

The jury was told that Miss Kenyon’s daughter sent her a message later that day and received a response of two laughing face emojis.

But Mr McLachlan said the message was sent by Burfield as ‘part of a charade’. Messages were later sent from Miss Kenyon’s phone to Burfield, saying she was ‘truly sorry for everything’, and to her children.

The court heard voice messages Burfield left for Miss Kenyon in which he said he was a ‘bit worried’ about her.

The jury was told Burfield was interviewe­d four times by police after his arrest, initially denying any knowledge of where Miss Kenyon was.

However, in a later interview there was a ‘revelation’ and his version of events changed, with Burfield giving the axe-throwing account. Miss Kenyon’s body was recovered two days later after he led officers to where she was buried.

Mr McLachlan said the pair had a ‘difficult relationsh­ip’, with Burfield making a court claim of more than £ 4,000 against Miss Kenyon, who in turn blocked him from contacting her by phone.

Jurors heard that during an email exchange on April 6 he wrote to her that this would be their ‘last goodbye’, adding she would be ‘always remembered’.

Burfield denies murder. The trial continues.

‘On a mission to dig her grave’

 ?? ?? Head wounds: Katie Kenyon’s body was buried in a forest
Head wounds: Katie Kenyon’s body was buried in a forest
 ?? ?? Accused: Andrew Burfield
Accused: Andrew Burfield

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