'You have no remorse at all for Tracy' - Rhyl builder Anthony Bird condemned after killing his partner Tracy Kearns

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Killer Anthony Bird had shown no remorse after killing his partner, mother of two Tracy Kearns.

In fact the judge told him that his tears and emotion during his trial at Mold Crown Court were all for himself.

Mr Justice Clive Lewis told defendant: “You have been convicted of the manslaughter of Tracy Kearns.

“Tracy Kearns and you had been together for about seven years or so and you had two young children.

“Tracy loved her children and was devoted to them.

“There had been difficulties in your relationship for some time.

“By about March, 2017, Tracy had decided that the two of you should separate and she was planning to move to a different house with the children.

“Tracy told you before Easter that she wished to separate but that you would still be involved in the bringing up of the children.

“At some stage she formed a relationship with another man, Andrew Jones.

“Tracy was happy, she had her children, a future and a new relationship.

“You did not want Tracy to live separately. You did not know that she had formed a new relationship.”

The judge said that on the weekend of May 5/6 Tracy left the children with her mother and she went with Andrew Jones to Blackpool.

“You became suspicious, you visited her mother ‘s house on the Saturday and Tracy was not there.

“You got up early on the Sunday and drove to her mother’s house, parked your car, and watched and waited for her for some hours.

“You saw Tracy return with another man. You learned then that she was in a relationship with another man and you learned who that man was.

“You spoke to Mr Jones that afternoon and you were calm and you appeared to accept that the relationship between you and Tracy was over.

“Tracy worked on the Sunday and came home at about 9.20 p.m.

“At some stage you attacked Tracy and strangled her with your bare hands.

“You admit that you put your hands on Tracy’s throat as she lay on the living room floor.

“You admit that you pressed down on her throat with the whole weight of your body.

“You said that you did that for what seemed like a while. You continued to press down on Tracy’s throat until Tracy stopped moving and was dead.”

He than hid Tracy’s body in the children’s play house in the garden, at some stage removed her clothing and wrapped her body in two layers of material from a trampoline cover and then wrapped the body in black plastic sheeting.

He left the body in the children’s play house for two days.

On the Wednesday, he placed the body, still wrapped in fabric and plastic, in a small trailer.

“You placed debris on top of the body and you then drove the trailer to the Sandy Cove Club (where they both worked) and left the trailer with the body out of sight in a car park.

“It was a cold and undignified end to a life cut short.

“In the days after killing Tracy you lied repeatedly saying that Tracy had left you and the children and had walked out.

“You lied to her mother, to her family, her friends and her work colleagues.

“You lied to the police in a lengthy phone call on the Wednesday and you lied after you had been arrested on the Thursday morning.”

The judge said that Tracy’s body had 40 injuries.

They included injuries to her neck where he held her and strangled her, to the head, nose and mouth, her upper chest, her arms and thighs.

“The evidence of the pathologist that her was caused by a fatal assault involving manual strangulation.

“The degree of force involved was severe.

“The overall injury pattern provided evidence of a sustained struggle and assault.

“You accept responsibility for causing all the injuries but you cannot recall how you caused them and you cannot explain them.

“You have been found guilty of manslaughter – that is the unlawful killing of Tracy Kearns.

“In reaching their verdict, the jury rejected the claim that you acted in lawful self-defence.

“I am sure given the description of how you strangled Tracy and the medical evidence, that you did intend to kill Tracy Kearns that night. “You placed your hands on her throat and pressed down with your full weight until Tracy stopped breathing intending to kill her.

“The basis of the jury’s guilty verdict of manslaughter , rather than murder, is that they accepted that you had lost self-control.”

The judge said that he had regard to sentencing guidelines and he had considered the degree of provocation.

“I am sure that the events were short in duration and all occurred in a short space of time. I am also sure that the degree of provocation was low rather than substantial,” he said.

Two points had been relied upon by the jury.

“The things said that evening which humiliated you and wound you up.

“There were heated exchanges between you and Tracy, each using derogatory terms to each other.”

In the last stages of the argument however it involved something that he spoke of for the first time on the third day of his evidence.

He claimed that shortly before the fight began she started to tell him some of the details of the sexual intercourse between her and Jones.

Bird and Tracy had not had sexual relationship for at least two years.

Tracy had described the underwear she had bought – suspenders, crotchless knickers and tights and said Jones enjoyed having sex with her wearing them.

It was claimed that she had also said that Jones was worth ten of him.

“You were angered and humiliated by what you heard.

“That, I am sure, finally triggered the loss of control and led to the attack on Tracy,” the judge said.

Bird also said that Tracy had a pair of scissors and that he feared serious violence.

Even accepting that to be true, it was clear from the evidence that played little part in the struggle than ensued or in the strangling of Tracy

“By your own evidence in court you accepted that you had any situation involving the scissors under control.

“By the time you strangled her, you at 16 stone, were on top of her, holding her by the throat and pressing down.

“She was, as you said thrashing about, trying to get away from your grip.”

The medical evidence was only consistent with a sustained and prolonged assault with a number of injuries before he strangled her.

He was sure that any fear of violence  arising out of any threat played little part in the attack and in particular in the final act of strangulation.

Given all the evidence, the level of provocation was low and its duration short.

The starting point was one of 12 years.

The aggravating features were that he set about to conceal the body.

He hid the body in the children’s playhouse, he  removed and disposed of her clohing, he wrapped her naked body up in fabric and black plastic and left the body in the garden for two days.

He then placed the wrapped body in the trailer covered in debris and left it in the car park where it was found a few days later.

“The concealment of the body was a serious aggravating feature,” he said.

In mitigation, he had no previous convictions and had been a man of good character.

“I also consider the question of remorse. If you had shown any remorse that would have been a mitigating feature.

“I have described how you reacted after killing your partner.

“More significantly I have watched you during the course of the trial and I have seen you give evidence over three days.

“I have read tens of pages of your interview with the police, before and after the discovery of the body.

“I am sure that you do not have any remorse at all for Tracy.

“You have not shown the slightest concern for the woman, the mother of your children, whom you killed.

“Your emotion and your tears are all for yourself.”

Indeed he had sometimes sought to portray himself as the victim.

“But you are not the victim Mr Bird. The victim is Tracy Kearns, the mother of two young children, who you attacked and strangled with your bare hands in her own home.

“I do not regard your tears as any evidence of remorse at all.”

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