Darren McKie appeared 'ghostlike' when seen by a police patrol

Leanne and Darren McKie Image copyright Facebook
Image caption Darren McKie denies killing his wife Leanne in September last year

A police inspector accused of murdering his wife appeared "ghostlike" when he was seen walking barefoot hours before her body was found, a court heard.

Darren McKie, 43, was "just sort of blank" when police drove him home where his children had been left alone, an officer told Chester Crown Court.

His trainers were later found with his wife's blood on in a wheelie bin.

Mr McKie denies killing his police detective wife Leanne McKie, 39, who was found in Cheshire last September.

Image copyright Family handout
Image caption Leanne McKie's body was found in a lake in Cheshire

Mr McKie, of Burford Close in Wilmslow, Cheshire, was spotted wearing black trousers and a black jacket with his hood up by a police patrol at 01:30 on 29 September 29.

PC Tom Spowage and PC Phillip Reeves told the court they saw him again 45 minutes later wearing no shoes and took him home.

'Cold and emotionless'

PC Spowage told the jury when they went into Mr McKie's house, they found his children had been left alone.

The officer described Mr McKie as "blank, very vacant, ghostlike. No sort of emotion or anything".

Mr McKie brought a crying child downstairs, holding her in his arms but "there was no interaction" between him and the child, the court was told.

"He was very cold, very emotionless, unmoved by anything," PC Spowage said.

The officers returned to the property just before 04:00 after carrying out checks on Mrs McKie's car and speaking to a senior officer.

PC Reeves said he saw black clothing in the washing machine which he believed may have been those Mr McKie had worn.

The officers asked Mr McKie to search for his wife's phone using the Find My iPhone app, which located it at Paddock Hill Lake in Mobberley.

Mr McKie was arrested on suspicion of murder just after 05:00.

A post-mortem examination revealed Mrs McKie was likely to have died at about midday on the day before her body was found.

The court has heard that the couple, who both worked for Greater Manchester Police, were more than £100,000 in debt.

Mr McKie denies murder and manslaughter.

The trial continues.

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