1. ITV Report

Police inspector in court accused of murdering his wife

Leanne McKie's body was found in a Cheshire lake last September Photo: ITV Granada Reports

A police inspector strangled his detective wife before dumping her body in a lake, a court has heard.

Darren McKie, 43, denies murdering his wife Leanne McKie, 39, a detective constable, whose body was found in Poynton Lake in Cheshire in September last year.

Opening the trial at Chester Crown Court on Monday, Nigel Power QC, prosecuting, showed the jury dashcam footage from a police car of McKie walking in Wilmslow at 1.31am and 2.10am on September 29.

At 3.45am that day Mrs McKie's body was discovered at the lake.

Mr Power said:

She was in shallow water, but she hadn't drowned. She had been strangled to death.

– Mr Power, prosecuting

He said friends had described the couple, who had three children, as the "perfect family", but there were money problems.

Mr Power said the McKie family were "living well beyond their means" and 15 loan applications had been made in McKie and his wife's name on September 22, a week before her death.

He said:

The prosecution say all those applications were made by Mr McKie, made by him without his wife's knowledge.

– Mr Power, prosecuting

Mr Power told the court that in August 2017 the couple were in debt worth at least £103,000.

The court was played a recording of a phone call on September 5 between Mrs McKie and AA Loans in which she told the company her husband had not made any loan applications, although applications had been made using his details.

Mrs McKie sent her husband a text message on September 6 which said: "Are we in a mess??? Please tell me!"

The court heard he told her "please stop doubting me" and "there is nothing to worry about" in replies.

The trial continues.

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