Builder and part time barman Anthony Bird told a murder trial jury on Friday afternoon that while he had killed his partner Tracy Kearns, he had not intended to do it.
He took to the witness stand on the fifth day of his trial at Mold Crown Court and said that after killing her he put her body in a tree house in the back garden which was four to five feet in the air on a ramp, which he had built for his two daughters.
A couple of days later he put her body in a trailer and took it to the back of the Sandy Cove club at Kinmel Bay where they both worked because he did not want the police to find her.
He confirmed that weekend he found out that she was having an affair when she returned from Blackpool with another man, Andrew Jones.
On the Sunday night she was late coming back from work and he wanted to talk in detail about the future – but said he was resigned that she was going to leave.
They spoke and argued and at one stage she said she was leaving to go to a mate’s house – but returned because she had a flat tyre and he refused to give her his car keys.
She was on the sofa and he sat at the dining table, and he went make a cup of tea.
As he turned his back, she shouted something, the dining chairs scattered and she screamed - he thought she said “I’ll kill you.”
When he turned around she was staggering, he assumed she had tripped on a step or over the children’s toys and was in a crouched position.
As she was staggering back to her feet she was clutching some scissors, he alleged.
It was in a raised position, in a clenched fist about head height with the blade pointing towards him.
“She was moving towards me,” he said.
Bird said he pushed her backwards, she stumbled on the laminate floor and went on her back.
“I was clutching her hand and I lost my balance as well,” he said.
He landed on top of her.
“I don’t remember what I did next,” he said.
Gordon Cole QC, defending, said the evidence showed that she had fatal injuries to the neck area, consistent with strangulation.
Mr Cole asked: “Do you remember having your hand around Tracy’s throat and squeezing her throat?”
He replied. “not specially squeezing but pushing.”
Bird said he no idea what he was thinking at that stage.
“I remember at the end being sat across her when she had stopped moving,” he said.
When he had his hand around her throat, he did not remember what she was doing.
“I remember struggling,” he said.
Bird said that he did not want to kill her, he had not appreciated what he was doing when holding her by the throat, and did not have any conscious thought about what was happening.
When it finished, she “just went still and was quiet.”
He was astride her with one leg on either side of the body.
Bird said he was on his knees and his hands were still on her throat.
“I lifted myself away from her slowly and stared at her.”
Mr Cole asked him what was going through his mind.
He said “ everything, nothing made sense, it was just mad.”
Bird said he was staring at her to see if she was taking a breath but she was not.
“I stayed there just looking at her, still kneeling on the floor.”
It was quiet, he listened but the girls were still asleep.
“I moved her out of the lounge in panic that the girls could walk in at any time.”
He put the body in the tree house he thought between 5 a.m. and 6 a.m..
The sun had just broken.
It was later on the Monday when the children were at school that she he cut off her shorts, t shirt and dressing gown, he claimed.
He assumed he had used the same scissors which she had earlier.
“I could not bear to leave her in the wet clothes,” he said.
Bird accepted that he repeatedly told lies to people, including police, when asked about what had happened.
“Tracy was constantly on my mind,” he said.
He knew she had died and that “it was my fault”.
He did not intend to kill her, he did not want to kill her and broke down in the witness box when asked about it..
Bird said he put her body in the trailer and took it in the club because of talk of the police being involved and coming around.
She was wrapped in material from a trampoline and some plastic - because she had no clothes on.
He conceded that he wanted to get away with it
Asked how he felt that week knowing that he had killed Tracy, he said: “I have not got words to describe it. I have never felt like that before. It was just a dark place.”
He had not contacted the police because he was frightened.
Mr Cole said witnesses had described him as being calm, he said he was “broken inside.”
Asked why he had asked a painter and decorator to come around to give him a price that week, he said he did not know.
Bird said he was gutted that she had spoken of going to |Bulgaria with her new man and take the children.
He said he could not say why he had sent her a text message after he killed her telling her he had fixed her tyre.
Asked how he felt over killing her, he said he “felt terrible”.
He said his description in police interviews about being at breaking point was correct.
Bird said on a number of occasions that he was upset but not angry.
It had been his intention to propose to Tracy on a forthcoming holiday to Paris.
Bird, 49, denies the murder of Tracy Kearns, 43, at the home they shared in Cader Avenue in Kinmel Bay, between May 7 and May 11, but accepts that he was responsible for her death after discovering that she was having an affair.