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Leanne McNuff murder: 'Daddy's killed mummy': What four-year-old son of soldier said 'after he witnessed murder of his mother for having an abortion'

By // News | Leanne McNuff murder: 'Daddy's killed mummy': What four-year-old son of soldier said 'after he witnessed murder of his mother for having an abortion'
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  • Lance Corporal Ian Lowe, 25, repeatedly knifed Leanne McNuff and stamped on her face, jury hears
  • Miss McNuff, 24, had terminated their unborn baby in secret less than two weeks before the killing in Droylsden, Greater Manchester
  • The couple's four-year-old son witnessed his father killing his mother, court told

By Suzannah Hills

PUBLISHED: 09:58 EST, 4 September 2012 | UPDATED: 12:30 EST, 4 September 2012

A soldier stabbed his girlfriend to death in front of their four-year-old son who was found crying and screaming ‘Daddy’s killed Mummy’, a court heard.

Lance Corporal Ian Lowe, 25, is alleged to have kicked down the door to Leanne McNuff's home and stabbed her repeatedly in a ‘deliberate and unprovoked attack’ at the top of the stairs before stamping on her face.

The couple’s son, Jaden, was at Miss McNuff’s home in Droylsden, Greater Manchester, at the time of the attack in March this year.

Family: Soldier Ian Lowe girlfriend Leanne McNuff, who he allegedly stabbed to death after finding out she had terminated their unborn baby, and their son Jaden

Family: Soldier Ian Lowe girlfriend Leanne McNuff, who he allegedly stabbed to death after finding out she had terminated their unborn baby, and their son Jaden

Father figure: Ian Lowe with his son Jaden when he was just three months old

Father figure: Ian Lowe with his son Jaden when he was just three months old

When Miss McNuff’s brother Ryan dashed to help his dying sister, the youngster told him: 'Daddy’s killed mummy', the court heard.

The boy later said to his grandmother, who lived next door and rushed to give CPR: 'Can you help mummy, Nana?'

Manchester Crown Court heard Mr Lowe, a lance corporal with 1st Battalion, the Duke of Lancaster Regiment, had discovered that Leanne, 24, had aborted their second child when he hacked into her Facebook account.

It is also alleged that he discovered on the day she was killed that Leanne had started a relationship with another man.

Lowe, who had been in a stormy, on-off relationship with Leanne since 2006, was on bail at the time of the murder after being charged with assaulting her in February.

He has admitted a charge of manslaughter but denies murder, claiming Leanne lunged at him with the knife and he wrestled it from her grasp.

Victim: Leanne McNuff was killed in March this year after her ex-boyfriend learned that she had an abortion, a court heard

Victim: Leanne McNuff was killed in March this year after her ex-boyfriend learned that she had an abortion, a court heard

The court was told how Leanne was found in a pool of blood by her brother, Ryan McNuff, on Sunday, March 11.

Neil Flewitt QC said: 'When Ryan McNuff stepped inside he saw Jaden to the right of the front door, crying and screaming ‘Daddy’s killed Mummy’.

'Ryan McNuff checked the living room and, on discovering that it was empty, ran quickly upstairs where he discovered the body of his sister lying on the landing.'

The jury was told that Leanne’s mother, Margaret McNuff, then ran inside and found her grandson standing at the top of the stairs wearing his pyjamas.

He said ‘Can you help Mummy, Nana?’, the court was told.

The court heard that a neighbour, Sheila Holland, ran to help and agreed to take care of the child before police and paramedics arrived.

Mr Flewitt said: 'Once inside Jaden said to Sheila Holland, ‘Sheila, do you know my Daddy? He has killed my Mummy and she is all red’.'

The jury was told that Lowe, who was based at Army barracks in Catterick, North Yorkshire, and had started a relationship with another woman, ran to the home of his mother, Lorraine Lowe, and confessed.

Mr Lowe is alleged to have told Mrs Lowe: 'I booted the front door in.He was in the front room and Leanne was at the top of the stairs, shouting at me to get out. I ran up, stabbed her four times and I stamped on her face.'

Mr Lowe, who the jury was told had been drinking at Droylsden Labour Club before the stabbing, was arrested and told police: 'Okay no problem. I’ve been at the pub all night' and then asked after his son.

The jury was told of Leanne’s horrific stab and stamp injuries, including marks on her hands where she fought to save her life.

Mr Flewitt said ‘patterned bruises’ caused by the impact of the sole of a shoe were found on her face.

Killed: Leanne McNuff was repeatedly stabbed and stamped on by her former boyfriend, Ian Lowe, after he discovered she had terminated their unborn baby, a court was told

Killed: Leanne McNuff was repeatedly stabbed and stamped on by her former boyfriend, Ian Lowe, after he discovered she had terminated their unborn baby, a court was told

He added: 'Although it is not likely that these blows accelerated Leanne McNuff’s death, they could have rendered her unconscious or dazed, making her less capable of defending herself from attack.'

The court heard that, when the pair met at Miss McNuff's home to discuss the pregnancy on February 18, a violent row broke out during which Lowe called Miss McNuff a 'prostitute' and accused her of 'sleeping around'.

Break up: Leanne McNuff and Lowe had been dating since 2006 but broke up a month before the killing in March this year

Break up: Leanne McNuff and Lowe had been dating since 2006 but broke up a month before the killing in March this year

As Miss McNuff tried to force him out of the house, Lowe is said to have grabbed her by the thoat and begun 'shaking her from side to side'.

In a statement given to police at the time, Miss McNuff recalled: 'He’s shaking me from side to side and I’m almost on the floor.

'I’ve lost my footing but being held up by Ian gripping my clothing and he’s shaking me about.

'Somehow, whilst he’s still ragging me about, I’ve twisted and he’s got hold of my hair.

'Now he’s got a grip of my clothing and a grip of my hair and he’s still shaking me about.

'At some point he’s let go of my jumper and his left arm has come around my throat choking me and making it hard to breathe for a few seconds. I was frightened to death.

'I didn’t know what was going to happen. I was scared wither he’d really hurt me or I’d lose the baby.

'Then Ian’s released me and pushed me to the floor. He’s gone to kick me.

'At first I think he was going to kick me hard but he held back and it wasn’t a very hard kick in my back.

'Then he’s picked up his bag and ran out of the gate.'

Lowe was later arrested and charged with assault and was ordered not to contact Leanne under his bail conditions.

But the court heard that, only an hour later, Miss McNuff rang police again to claim that Lowe had called her.

The next day, February 20, Miss McNuff went in secret to an abortion clinic for a consultation.

Scene: Police at the house in Droylsden, Greater Manchester, where Leanne McNuff's body was found

Scene: Police at the house in Droylsden, Greater Manchester, where Leanne McNuff's body was found

She terminated the unborn baby on March 1.

Lowe found out about the abortion on March 10 - the day before the killing - when he hacked into Leanne’s Facebook account, the court heard.

The day before her death Mr Lowe, who used Facebook under the name Ian ‘Boom Boom’ Lowe, wrote on his Facebook page: 'Need a weapon out of the armoury to shoot the bitch', the jury heard.

That evening, Lowe went for a drink with his father and a family friend who said he 'looked as if he had the weight of the world on his shoulders'.

He is alleged to have killed Miss McNuff hours later.

Lowe denies murder. The trial continues.

Tributes: A policeman guards flowers left outside Miss McNuff's home following her death in March

Tributes: A policeman guards flowers left outside Miss McNuff's home following her death in March

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