Skegness

Man guilty of brutal murder of partner at caravan park

A man who carried out a brutal and savage attack on his partner on her 64th birthday leaving her dying in a pool of blood was found guilty of her murder.

The jury at Lincoln Crown Court deliberated for 90 minutes before convicting Andrew Highton of the murder of Linda Treeby at the caravan where they were staying to mark her birthday.

Highton, who had claimed that she attacked him first, showed no emotion as the verdict was delivered.

He was remanded in custody and will be sentenced on Thursday.

The court was told he had previous convictions for domestic violence involving a woman whom he had been in a relationship with him in Scotland.

Highton struck her with such force that she received 34 separate injuries to her body as well as bleeding on the brain.

Her nose was shattered into pieces and a bone in her throat was also fractured.

Later Highton claimed he punched her “two, three or four times” in response to being struck by her.

Linda Treeby, 64, from Nottingham.

But the jury heard while he was in police custody following his arrest he told a health care worker “I wish I’d done it years ago.”

William Harbage QC, prosecuting, said: “This was very much more than two, three or four punches. It cannot possibly have been in self-defence.”

He said that Linda Treeby had been punched, kicked and stamped on by Highton who also smashed a glass ashtray into her face.

The fatal attack happened after they returned to the caravan where they were staying at Ingoldmells following a visit to a nearby bar.

Mr Harbage said: “What should have been a day of celebration turned into a vicious, sustained and ultimately fatal assault on her inside the caravan where she was staying.”

“The defendant concentrated his attack on her head. She was struck on the head repeatedly.

“The injuries she received were far more severe than might be caused by just punches. They indicate she had been kicked and stamped on.

“She also had a large laceration in the centre of her forehead where she had been struck with a substantial glass ashtray.

“The attack didn’t end there because the defendant also stamped on her groin leaving a heel mark from his shoe on the front of her pants before leaving her for dead on the floor of the caravan.

“He assaulted her so severely that she died. It was not just two or three or four punches. You could never have caused that much damage with so few punches.

“He must have struck her again and again and again and again. He smashed her nose. It was broken into pieces. How was that caused by a punch?

“This attack was savage. It was brutal. He must have intended to kill her.”

The jury was told that the couple had been in an on-off relationship for seven years which was described as “dysfunctional”.

Mr Harbage said that a passer-by saw some of the attack through the caravan window and ran to a nearby pub for help.

She returned to the caravan with the site manager and the pair of them went inside.

Mr Harbage said: “They were met by a horrific scene. They found Linda Treeby lying on her back on the floor covered in blood but still alive. There was blood over much of the caravan.”

Emergency services were called out and efforts were made to save her but she was pronounced dead at the scene.

Highton left the caravan and went to the home of a relative in Skegness where he asked her for help saying he had done something “really stupid.”

He was driven back to the caravan and was subsequently arrested.

In evidence Highton denied kicking, stamping or smashing the ashtray over her.

Highton claimed he “lost it” after she made comments to him about his parents and his daughter adding “I love her very much.”

Andrew Highton, 51, of Highbury Road, Bulwell, Nottingham, denied murder and a lesser alternative charge of manslaughter as a result of the fatal incident on May 29 this year.

He was found guilty of murder.

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