Builder admits killing his ex with an axe before dumping her body in a pre-dug grave

16 November 2022, 14:49 | Updated: 16 November 2022, 17:46

Builder Andrew Burfield (l) admitted murdering ex-girlfriend Katie Kenyon (r) and dumping her body in a pre-dug grave
Builder Andrew Burfield (l) admitted murdering ex-girlfriend Katie Kenyon (r) and dumping her body in a pre-dug grave. Picture: Alamy

By Chris Samuel

A man who said he accidentally killed a woman when he threw an axe at a tree has admitted murdering her.

Andrew Burfield, 51, initially denied murdering Katie Kenyon, 33, but changed his plea at Preston Crown Court to admit killing the mother of two, who was struck around 12 times.

The court had heard that Burfield had killed Ms Kenyon on 22 April and buried her body in a grave in the Forest of Bowland, Lancashire, which he had dug the previous day.

Katie Kenyon who was murdered by her ex boyfriend Andrew Burfield
Katie Kenyon who was murdered by her ex boyfriend Andrew Burfield. Picture: social media
Andrew Burfield who admitted murdering Katie Kenyon after changing his plea
Andrew Burfield who admitted murdering Katie Kenyon after changing his plea. Picture: Police
Police finding the body of Katie Kenyon in a pre-dug grave
Police finding the body of Katie Kenyon in a pre-dug grave. Picture: Alamy

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Opening the trial on Monday, David McLachlan KC, prosecuting, told the jury that Burfield was arrested following Ms Kenyon's disappearance and interviewed four times, initially denying any knowledge of her whereabouts.

But he said that in Burfield's penultimate interview, there was a "revelation" and his version of events changed.

Mr McLachlan said the 51-year-old had borrowed a spade and set of ladders from his father the day before he killed Ms Kenyon and had driven to Gisburn Forest to dig her grave.

The trial also heard that on the morning of Ms Kenyon's death, she had sent Burfield a message saying she was "ready and excited for a new chapter".

The jury was told that later that morning, the pair were captured on CCTV travelling in his car and stopping off at McDonalds, before going to the forest.

The prosecution said he spent just over 42 minutes in the woodland, where he killed her and buried her body.

Analysis showed Ms Kenyon's phone travelling back from the site at about 11:15 BST.

The jury was told that the 51-year-old had then used the phone to send messages to her children and himself, and left a voice note saying that said he was "a bit worried" about her.

The prosecution said those messages were all sent after her death.

Ms Kenyon's body was discovered by police on 29 April, after a week-long search.

Burfield is due to be sentenced tomorrow.

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