Stabbed model 'pleaded to return home'

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The mother of a young model and actress allegedly stabbed to death by her boyfriend told a jury today about desperate phone calls between them on the morning she was murdered.

Karyn Killiner said her daughter, Amy Leigh Barnes, had pleaded with her to come and take her home just hours before she was killed.

Miss Barnes, 19, was stabbed repeatedly with a kitchen knife while at her grandmother's house in Farnworth, near Bolton, where she lived with her boyfriend, Ricardo Morrison.

Morrison, 21, from Birmingham, denies murder on November 8 last year.

Giving evidence on the second day of the trial at Manchester Crown Court, Mrs Killiner said she had concerns about the relationship and had arranged for her daughter to go to Fort Alice, a local project for young women suffering domestic violence, just five days before she was murdered.

On the night before she died Amy had visited her mother and the teenager was "excited" about arranging a birthday meal for a girlfriend and had bought two new dresses for a girls' night out, Mrs Killiner said.

But the next morning, the day of the fatal assault, her daughter called her on the phone upset and crying.

"When you answered the telephone, what did Amy say to you?" Stuart Driver, prosecuting, asked the witness.

"She said, 'Hello, please will you come and get me?' I said, 'Yes darling.'

"She said, 'Will you come now?' and started to cry.

"I said, 'What's wrong?.' She said, 'I just want to come home. I want to come home and be at home. Mum, he's said some awful things to me.'

"She said, 'I have told him that he's not going to control me any more."'

The jury heard Amy's grandmother had gone to work and Morrison had gone out and taken all the keys to the house with him, leaving her alone locked in the empty house.

While he was out "angry" text messages were exchanged between them, the jury have been told, Miss Barnes calling the defendant a "woman beater" and telling him, "I hate you. It's over. Leave me alone."

Her mother arranged for Amy's father, Andrew Barnes, to go round with a key and she told her daughter to pack some bags and her father would be round soon.

"I said if he comes back and says anything or starts anything you telephone 999. She said, 'I will Mum' she promised me, 'I will."'

Mrs Killiner then set off in her own car on the 20 minute journey from her home in Bolton to Amy's house, but on the way two calls to her daughter went unanswered and she left "urgent" messages on the answer phone.

She "panicked" and dialled 999 herself, but while on the way Andrew Barnes had arrived at the house and found his daughter dying in a pool of blood, the court heard.

"I do remember Andrew did phone me," Mrs Killiner said.

"He said, 'Get here Karyn, get here quick. It's Amy."'

Mrs Killiner was told by the emergency services to go straight to the hospital, the ambulance carrying her daughter, passing her on the way.

She went in to see her daughter in the emergency room then called Melda Wilks, the defendant's mother, who is accused of assisting an offender, her son, by helping to destroy evidence by washing his blood-stained clothes, it is alleged.

"I said, 'Your son has stabbed my daughter,' over and over again. That's all I said."

"Did she reply to you?" the prosecutor asked.

"No. She screamed and was crying."

The court has already heard that Amy dialled 999 herself, saying: "I'm dying. He's stabbed me to boyfriend. Please help me...".

Despite the efforts of medics they could not save her life and she was pronounced dead at 2.40pm.

Morrison and Wilks, 49, of Hollyhill Road, Rubery, who is a policewoman in the West Midlands force, have both pleaded not guilty.

Mr Barnes, who runs a motorcycle tyre business in Farnworth, said he ran back to his van after picking up a key from Miss Barnes's grandmother and set off to meet his daughter

He entered the terraced house in Moss Street, opened a door from the vestibule to the living room and saw Miss Barnes in a pool of blood.

"Amy was on the floor at the bottom of the stairs," he said.

He told the prosecutor she had cuts to her face and was lying in the foetal position.

Her eyes were half open and she was breathing in a laboured way, he said.

He immediately called 999 and then ended up speaking to another emergency operator who his daughter had called moments after she was stabbed.

Mr Barnes later noticed the back door to the property was open, as well as the backyard gate which led on to an alleyway.

He said he ran out of the house but did not see anyone.

In a statement read to the court, Sgt Andrew Smith said he was the first officer to arrive at the crime scene.

He said: "I saw a white female lying on her side parallel with the staircase with her head towards the front door.

"There was a pool of blood from her abdomen. Her upper body was covered in blood and there was blood on her face.

"Her pyjama bottoms had been pulled midway down to her thigh exposing her underwear."

He was talking to a shocked Mr Barnes when he said he heard a "loud bang" from the rear of the address which sounded like a door being shut.

Sgt Smith said: "Mr Barnes said; 'It's him, it will be him, he might still be in the house.'

"Mr Barnes ran outside. I ran after him and I heard him shout; 'Where is he? He's here, I'll kill him.'

"I asked who was he talking about. He said Ricardo Morrison."

After putting out an alert over the defendant, the officer searched the house and spotted an empty slot in the kitchen knife block and a blood-stained mobile phone on the window sill.

Under cross-examination from Johannah Cutts, representing Morrison, Mr Barnes agreed from a police statement he gave that his daughter's relationship with the defendant was "up and down".

He had said "one day she was happy, the next day she said she wanted to separate".

Miss Barnes was annoyed that she felt her independence was being taken away and she could not go out with her friends as much, the court heard.