UK man accused of killing ex-partner admits guilt after first denying murder | UK news

A man accused of the murder of a mother-of-two has admitted he is guilty, having initially denied the killing, three days into his trial at Preston crown court.

Andrew Burfield confessed to murdering his ex-girlfriend 33-year-old Katie Kenyon after the court heard how he buried her body in a grave he had dug the day before in the Forest of Bowland in Lancashire.

The 51-year-old killer struck his ex-partner at least 12 times with an ax on 22 April and sent text messages to her children from her phone pretending to be Kenyon, saying she was “going away for a while”.

Andrew Burfield. Photograph: Lancashire Constabulary/PA

But after she failed to pick up her children later that day, her friends and family became concerned, and her sisters suspected the messages had been sent by Burfield because they were riddled with mistakes.

Both Jenny and Sarah Kenyon visited Burfield’s home to try to find out what happened to their sister, with the killer eventually calling the police after things became heated.

The following day, Jenny messaged Burfield, saying: “Andy I think you know a hell of a lot more than you are letting on!! I have read over the msgs “katie” sent to her kids and she doesn’t even spell like that or speak like that which is what the kids have also said!

“Katie knows how to spell and mentioned about you having dyslexia! Which makes sense to the spelling! YOU SENT THEM TEXTS! YOU KNOW WHERE KATIE IS!?! The police will trace where she was from the last msg sent. Doesn’t add up how she would drop her car, her keys, her bank card at yours but no phone and none of her other bank cards!!! It’s about time you came forward and started telling some truth now.”

Kenyon had last been seen on the day of her murder getting into a van in Padiham, East Lancashire, where she lived.

Authorities spent seven days searching for her, in a hunt that involved 60 specialist officers from Lancashire constabulary, Lancashire fire and rescue service personnel, mounted police, dog teams, mountain rescue volunteers and drones.

Burfield initially told police he had no idea what had happened to Kenyon, later changing his story to say she died when he accidentally hit her once on the head with the axe, after she dared him to knock a Coca-Cola can out of her hand and he missed.

The court heard he told police: “I went for the tree at the side of her and it, it hit her in (her) head.”

This story was described as “completely implausible” by a Home Office pathologist, who found there were at least a dozen blows to Kenyon’s head.

Burfield was arrested on suspicion of murder on 27 April, five days after Kenyon had disappeared.

Police discovered her body in Gisburn Forest a week after she was murdered in a well-disguised grave in the Area of ​​Outstanding Natural Beauty, which Burfield had dug using ladders and a shovel borrowed from his father the day before.

They had been led to the site by the murderer, who had hidden her body so well that forensic investigators said they would have struggled to spot it.

Bloodied carrier bags and flip-flops thought to belong to Kenyon were later found at a house where Burfield had been working as a handyman, by the residents who called the police.

The trial had been originally set to last three weeks but Burfield was re-arraigned on the charge on Wednesday, when the jury found him guilty.

Burfield, of Todmorden Road, Burnley, will be sentenced on Thursday.