'My boyfriend did it', dying model told 999

Man charged with murder flees from dock as jury hears details of girlfriend's injuries
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The Independent Online

A man who was allegedly concealed by his police officer mother after he stabbed his girlfriend to death with a kitchen knife fled from the dock yesterday as details of the victim's horrific injuries were described to jurors.

Amy Leigh Barnes, 19, was found lying in a pool of blood by her father after being left for dead by Ricardo Morrison, the prosecution alleged.

Manchester Crown Court heard that the part-time model and actress who had appeared in Hollyoaks made a desperate call to the emergency services as she lay dying. She told operators. "He's stabbed me to death ... my boyfriend, please help me," the prosecutor, Stuart Driver QC, said.

The case had to be adjourned for 20 minutes when Mr Morrison, 21, turned his back and ran towards the cells. He was later returned to the court where Miss Barnes's injuries were detailed.

She had suffered a 10cm long slash across her face, five wounds to her chest and four to her back, several of which penetrated her liver.

It was claimed that the blade had been plunged fully into her body with "severe force" during the attack in November last year at her grandmother's house in Farnworth, near Bolton.

In her 999 call, the distraught victim said: "I'm dying. He's stabbed me to death. I'm dying. Please help me"'

Mr Driver said: "The operator asked who had stabbed her and she said 'my boyfriend'."

Mr Morrison's mother Melda Wilks, 49, a West Midlands police officer, is on trial accused of assisting her son by allowing evidence to be destroyed after the death. Both deny the charges.

Mr Driver described how the couple had been together for a year but had a troubled relationship.

Mr Morrison moved from his native Birmingham to live with the Barnes family, eventually moving to Miss Barnes's grandmother's home.

In the early hours of the day she died, Miss Barnes sent a text message to the defendant saying "You are out of my life for good", the court heard.

It is alleged that Mr Morrison attacked his girlfriend after her grandmother left the house to go to work. It was claimed that he punched her and sprayed an aerosol in her face before leaving the house and locking her in. They continued to exchange "angry" text messages in which she called him a "woman beater" and told him, "I hate you. It's over. Leave me alone".

Miss Barnes called her mother, the court heard. They agreed her father should come to the house and collect her. In the two minutes between that call ending and the 11.35am plea to the emergency services, she was attacked.

Mr Driver QC said: "Soon, her father turned up, opened the front door and found his daughter at the bottom of the stairs, a pool of blood beneath her. You can imagine his reaction, his panic."

Miss Barnes was taken to the Royal Bolton Infirmary where she was pronounced dead at 2.40pm.

The court heard that Mr Morrison arrived back in Birmingham after boarding a National Express coach and phoned his mother.

The prosecutor explained that Mr Morrison's mother, Ms Wilks, knew about the attack because Miss Barnes's mother, Karyn, had called her from the hospital.

The court heard that Ms Wilks met her son when he arrived on the National Express coach and they took a taxi to her home, where a number of items were put in the family washing machine, including a black and red Adidas jacket, and washed.

Mr Driver said: "The prosecution say Melda Wilks assisted her son to do that for a criminal purpose and that is to remove any forensic scientific evidence, especially blood-staining from his clothes. When she did that she knew perfectly well that the police were looking for him."

The trial continues.