Lu Na McKinney: Murder trial jury hears 999 call

  • Published
Boat at jetty in Lough ErneImage source, Pacemaker
Image caption,
The McKinney family had hired a boat for a break on Lough Erne

A man accused of murdering his wife in County Fermanagh wiped away tears as a court was played recordings of two 999 calls he made on the night she drowned.

Stephen McKinney 43, of Castletown Square in Fintona, denies murdering Lu Na McKinney between 11-14 April 2017.

The 35-year-old died after entering the water at Devenish Island in County Fermanagh, during an Easter holiday with their two children.

The court heard two calls made in the early hours of 13 April 2017.

As he sat in the dock listening to the recording, Stephen McKinney frequently lifted his glasses and wiped away tears.

Image source, Pacemaker
Image caption,
Stephen McKinney denies murdering his wife Lu Na McKinney

During the first 999 call which was received at 01.19 BST, Mr McKinney could be heard panting and crying.

He said: "I can't see her. I'm, she's fell in and I jumped in to try and get her and now I can't see her."

"My wife said she thought the boat was moving so we got off to try and tie it down more.

"It's, it's not moving and then she fell and she slipped and I jumped in to try and help her."

Image source, PAcemaker
Image caption,
Lu Na McKinney died after entering the water at Devenish Island

The call ended abruptly and a second call was received at 01.22 BST which lasted for more than 40 minutes.

Mr McKinney could be heard crying and breathing heavily on the recording as he pleaded for help.

Mr McKinney was told help was on the way but said: "If they can't come quickly enough I'm going to go back in the water to get her.

"I need to find my wife. Lu Na. I need Lu Na. I need to get Lu Na."

The emergency call handler told Mr McKinney to stay on the boat with his two children, who were asleep in the cabin.

In the last few minutes of the call, as a police boat arrived at the island, Mr McKinney said: "I see her. I see my wife."

Stephen McKinney, who is originally from Strabane, denies murder and claims his wife drowned in a tragic accident.

The trial continues.