Northern Ireland news

Son of murder accused says he saw father cut girlfriend

David Lyness, left, is accused of killing Anita Downey

A TEENAGER who claims he witnessed his father attempting to 'chop off' the head of his former fiancee has rejected a suggestion his father was "trying to stop the flow of blood" from her neck.

He was being cross-examined by defence QC Richard Greene at the trial of 52-year-old David Lyness who denies murdering his 51-year-old girlfriend Anita Downey in his Toberhewny Hall home in Lurgan on January 20 last year.

"Was your father trying to stop the flow of blood, do you remember that?", asked Mr Greene.

"No," he replied," adding, "He wasn't doing that".

"What was he doing?", asked Mr Greene again.

"Cutting her," said the teenager.

Several other suggestions about what he saw were put to the teenager, before, in conclusion of his cross examination, Mr Greene returned to the question.

The trial has already heard that Ms Downey had her throat cut back to her spine, which also severed her jugular vein.

On Wednesday, Mr Greene asked the teenager about the relationship between his dad and Ms Downey, and whether his dad had told him his former girlfriend had attacked him with a pair of scissors.

While agreeing he had been told this, he said he could not remember when, and although he also accepted that their "relationship was over", the teenager said he had never heard of Ms Downey attacking his father with a knife, or that he was "afraid of Anita".

Mr Greene then began to ask the teenager about what he had told police during his video-taped interview, and what he said to other police beforehand.

Concerning his videoed interview, the teen claimed: "It was as accurate as it could be."

However, the defence lawyer suggested to him that his mind may have been affected by seeing the injuries on Ms Downey and because of that: "You assumed your father did this terrible thing".

"No. I witnessed it with my own two eyes," he replied.

Mr Greene also suggested to the teenager that there were differences within his police interview and his descriptions of what happened that evening.

He suggested at one stage that what the teenager saw, was his father and Ms Downey "struggling" over her handbag, because she had taken off her engagement ring and placed it in the bag, and that his dad wanted the ring.

"I don't think so. I have no memory of that," said the teenager.

At hearing.

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