Tragic Kinmel Bay mum gave job to partner who went on to kill her

Reporter:

Court Reporter

Builder and part time barman Anthony James Bird first met his future partner Tracy Kearns when she interviewed him for a job at Asda.

She gave him the job and found herself a new partner – the man who went on to kill her.

He later left his wife, set up home with her at Kinmel Bay and had two daughters.

But the relationship deteriorated, they drifted apart and she secretly began seeing Andrew Jones, a customer at The Sandy Cove Club in Kinmel Bay where both she and Bird then worked – it was run by his brother and sister-in-law.

Tracy planned a weekend away with her lover and they spent two nights at The Imperial Hotel in Blackpool.

On their return, Bird who had clearly been suspicious about what was going on, was waiting for them, parked up close to her mother’s home in Llandudno.

They talked, he appeared to take it well, he spoke to the other man Andrew Jones, and suggested to Tracy that they should talk.

He wanted them to remain living together for the sake of the girls – she was determined to leave and had a house to move into.

She told friends that Andrew Jones was planning to leave his wife after Christmas and that they would have a future together.

Mr Jones told the murder trial jury that he had no plans to leave his wife.

Bird told her to come straight home from her shift that Sunday night in May so that they could talk.

She was a bit late – because she had spoken to Andrew Jones – but when she was to enter her home in Cader Avenue in Kinmel Bay, at about 9.20pm that was the last time she was seen alive.

Overnight, she had been killed – strangled and possibly smothered – and the prosecution said that the 40 injuries to her body indicated a sustained and prolonged attack.

Chillingly, Bird got her body out of the house and put her into a tree house, or Wendy house, which he had previously built for his children.

He cut off her clothes and wrapped her in plastic – and left her there.

Bird then calmly went about his life as normal – even doing the school run – and told friends who asked that she had left him.

Her car was still there – so he said that she had planned to take the vehicle, it had a flat tyre, so she walked off and he did not know where she was.

He even took a tyre to a garage and bought a replacement – and sent Tracy Kearns a text message to say the car was fixed at a time he knew she was dead in the back garden.

But family and friends were not convinced and Bird was quizzed about what was going on.

There was no way in the world that she would have left her beloved daughters  and simply walked out, they said.

As concern grew Tracy’s mother Eileen Jones reported her missing and police spoke to Bird, who portrayed himself as the victim and said that Tracy had got a new man and had left him alone to look after the kids.

But with police interest in her disappearance, he set about moving the body.

On the Wednesday he dragged it through one of the girl’s bedrooms into the trailer and covered her body with debris and drove to an out of the way place at the rear of the club where they worked.

Bird may even have done a dummy run with an empty trailer, the prosecution suggested.

On the Thursday police now involved in a major search for the missing Tracy, arrested him at the club.

Unbeknown to anyone her body was just yards away in the trailer.

The following day the body was found – and he then changed his story.

He said that during their discussions on the Sunday night he had come at him with a pair of scissors, threatened to kill him, and that he pushed her away and she fell.

Bird claimed not to remember what had happened afterwards – but said that he pressed down on her throat to restrain her.

Gordon Cole QC, defending, argued that it was a case of manslaughter – he had lost all self-control or he had acted in self-defence.

In evidence, bird claimed that it was necessary to kill her to defend himself and that she contributed to her own death by her provocation.

He alleged that he had lost control by being humiliated when he claimed that she spoke of having se. with Andrew Jones in kin.y underwear and telling him that Jones was far better a man than he was.

Bird denied the murder of Tracy Kearns, 43, at the home they shared in Cader Avenue in Kinmel Bay, between May 7 and May 11 but accepted that he was responsible for her death.

The prosecution claimed it was a clear case of murder.

Ian Unsworth QC suggested that the jury could be satisfied that if he had been able to get away with it, his ultimate plan would have been to move and destroy the body in some way.

He wanted to get away with it and Tracy Kearns would have for ever been regarded as a missing person.

It was alleged that at one stage when Bird had been seen driving around at night that he was not simply trying to keep wake as he claimed – but was looking for appropriate places to dispose of the body.

He was not planning a funeral.

Mr Unsworth suggested that the fact that there were two bags of sand in the trailer in the body may have been significant.

It was, he said, “a cold and undignified end to a life cut short.”

“It was a killing that was as contemptuous  for her body as it was as ruthless in its execution,” he told the jury.

Mr Unsworth said he told “lie after lie” to family and friends and led the police a merry dance - all at a time when he knew she was lying dead, wrapped up and then concealed in the trailer, covered in debris.

Her clothes and her mobile phone which may have been able to provide more clues to what actually happened in that house had never been found.

Mr Unsworth accused Bird of making up the alleged threat with the scissors and said no one had ever regarded Tracy Kearns as being aggressive.

He claimed that Bird had committed a brutal murder but set about weaving a story to try and get away with it and tried to blacken his partner’s name.

Gordon Cole QC, defending, said that it was a case of manslaughter.

He said that his client had lost it – and killed her when he lost all self-control.

He also asked the jury to consider self-defence – both of which reduced his culpability from murder to manslaughter.

The jury cleared him of murder but convicted him of manslaughter by a ten to two majority. He will be sentenced on Wednesday.

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