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Man accused of slicing former fiancee’s throat in front of young son

A Co Armagh man accused of slicing his former fiancee’s throat in front of his teenage son has gone on trial.

David Lyness, 52, of Toberhewny Hall in Lurgan appeared before Craigavon Crown Court accused of the murder of 51-year-old Anita Downey on January 20 last year.

The alleged incident, which took place in the living room of Lyness’ home in Lurgan, was witnessed by the defendant’s son.

Prosecution QC Neil Connor said there was overwhelming evidence to suggest Lyness had armed himself with a knife before deliberately inflicting serious wounds on Ms Downey, including severe – and ultimately deadly – lacerations to her throat.

The court heard how the victim eventually bled to death on the living room floor with a Post-mortem report suggesting that the wound to the neck was consistent with more than one movement – but rather like a sawing action.

The young son, who was in the house at the time and made the emergency 999 call, was recorded telling the operator: “My dad has just sliced his girlfriend’s throat”.

However, Lyness told police there had been a struggle, that Ms Downey had come at him with the knife, and in that ensuing struggle the injuries were accidentally inflicted.

The trial continues.

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