Police inspector admits manslaughter of officer wife
A police inspector has dramatically changed his plea and admitted killing his detective constable wife, jurors heard this afternoon.
Defendant Darren McKie pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of his 39-year-old wife, just before he was due to give evidence at Chester Crown Court on Thursday (March 15).
He continues to deny murdering Detective Constable Leanne McKie whose body was found in Poynton Lake, Cheshire, on September 29 last year.
A post mortem showed evidence consistent with her having been strangled to death the day before. Insp McKie entered the guilty plea after the conclusion of the prosecution case on day nine of the trial.
He was asked to stand in the dock and the charge of manslaughter was read out to him again. Asked how he pleaded, he answered: “Guilty.”
Judge Mr Justice Spencer told the jury: “He now accepts he unlawfully killed his wife, Leanne McKie. “The issue will be whether the killing is not just manslaughter but murder, murder requiring an intent to kill or cause serious harm.”
Trevor Burke QC, defending, said he would be calling no evidence in the case. The court has heard the couple, from Wilmslow and both officers in Greater Manchester Police, had more than £100,000 of debt at the time of her death, including £45,000 on credit cards, £40,000 on loans and £17,000 owed for work carried out on their new house.
Det Con McKie sent her husband a text saying “liar” on the morning of her death, after discovering he had applied for a £54,000 loan in her name, the jury has been told. On Wednesday (March 14), jurors were told that at his final police interview, Insp McKie said: “I didn’t kill my wife. I have nothing further to say”. The trial will resume on Monday (March 19) at mid-day.