Manchester

Leanne McNuff: Son told family 'Daddy's killed Mummy'

A soldier's four-year-old son told his uncle "Daddy's killed Mummy" after being found next to his mother's body, a court has heard.

L/Cpl Ian Lowe attacked Leanne McNuff, 24, in March at her home in Droylsden, Manchester Crown Court heard.

The 25-year-old soldier, who was on leave from 1st Battalion the Duke of Lancaster's Regiment, admits manslaughter but denies murder.

The couple's son was at her home at the time of the attack.

Lowe, originally from Droylsden but based at the Somme Barracks in Catterick, was on bail for allegedly assaulting Miss McNuff at the time of the attack.

Heard her screams

Neil Flewitt QC, prosecuting, told the jury the couple started a relationship in 2006, with their son being born the following year.

After a stormy, on-off relationship, Miss McNuff told Lowe to leave the home on 11 February, a month before she was killed, the court was told.

A week later Lowe was arrested and charged with assault after "dragging" Miss McNuff by her hair and clothes following a row.

Mr Flewitt said at about 19:40 BST on 11 March, the defendant kicked in Miss McNuff's front door, then stabbed her repeatedly and stamped on her face before he fled.

Miss McNuff's brother, Ryan, and mother Margaret, who lived next door, found Lowe's son in his pyjamas crying and screaming and his mother lying in a pool of blood on the landing.

The court heard the boy then told Ryan: "Daddy's killed Mummy".

Miss McNuff was taken to hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

'Lost control'

The prosecution also alleged Lowe fled to his mother's house, confessing to her: "I've just killed Leanne, I've stabbed her four times and I stamped on her face.

"They can't prove I've done anything and they can't prove it was me."

In a defence statement, Lowe claimed on the day of the attack he had learned Miss McNuff had been unfaithful to him while they were still in a relationship.

He also claimed she planned to leave the area with their son and she had aborted a child the defendant believed to be his.

Lowe also alleged Miss McNuff attacked him with a knife and he killed her after "losing control" during the incident.

The trial continues.

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