Day 1: Clowne man denies murder

In Court
In Court

A 32 -YEAR-OLD man from Clowne has gone on trial for murdering his ex-partner.

Alexander Burnett, from Westlea View, appeared before Nottingham Crown Court yesterday (Monday 21st May).

He is charged with the murder of 52-year-old mum-of-three Lee Hendry on 13th September 2011. He denies the charge.

The court heard from Peter Joyce QC, prosecuting, who claims the defendant stabbed her in the neck after the two had met the evening before.

He told the jury Burnett and Ms Hendry, of Princess Street, Brimington, had lived together briefly about 12 years ago but parted in November 2000.

“There was very limited contact between the two of them through the years that followed up until September 2011,” he said.

“Very unfortunately, you may think, very shortly before her death, Lee Hendry put a new photograph of herself on Facebook.”

“The defendant saw it. He made contact with her after many years apart. She agreed to meet him.”

The two exchanged a series of text messages and phone calls before she travelled by bus to meet him at Boughton Lane, Clowne, at around 11pm on Monday 12th September.

Burnett, who jurors heard was ‘worse for drink already’, was accompanied by a 17-year-old male, who can’t be named for legal reasons, and the three of them went back to his house on Westlea View.

While at the house, the defendant and Ms Hendry went up and down the stairs ‘three or four times’.

The court heard Ms Hendry was texting her friend Tracy Spalding and told her the two of them had just had sex.

Ms Spalding replied: “You deserve some happiness.”

Burnett was said to be ‘jealous’ when Ms Hendry spoke to the teenager .

At about 2.30am Burnett and Ms Hendry went into the garden to have a smoke and were heard to have a disagreement.

“It went quiet until he said ‘oh, by the way, I want sex’ and Lee Hendry said something along the lines of ‘I don’t think so’,” said Mr Joyce.

The 17-year-old male who was also at the house went to bed just before 7am and was awoken around 1pm later that day.

“The defendant went into his room with dry blood on his hands and mouth,” Mr Joyce added.

The teenager was told Ms Hendry had left but spotted her glasses and mobile phone in the lounge. He was then told to leave.

Later that day, at around 8.10pm, Burnett went into Chesterfield Police Station and told officers he had committed a murder.

He had cleaned himself up but samples of Ms Henry’s blood were found under his fingernails.

Officers went to his house just after 8.35pm and found her body lying on the floor of his bedroom, partly covered by a towel from her shoulders to her knees.

His fingerprints were also found on a knife by the wardrobe in his bedroom.

Mr Joyce said: “It maybe that the defence is going to say that is was an accident of sexual play.”

“The prosecution case is quite simply this: the bruising around her neck may well have rendered her unconscious. A knife in the neck that deep, that hard, that far is not sexual play.”

Due to the amount of blood, the police officers did not initially see the stab wound to the right side of her neck.

They also found two empty bottles of whiskey on the kitchen table.

Burnett denies the charge of murder. The trial continues.