Teenager facing life sentence for strangling girlfriend at Kirkby flat

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Courtney Boorne was just 20 Credit: Liverpool Echo

A teenager is facing a life sentence for choking his girlfriend to death at the flat they shared in Kirkby on Merseyside.

Courtney Boorne, 20, was found unconscious at the flat on Quarry Green Heights in Kirkby, Merseyside, on 23 December last year.

Liam Cain, 19, was found guilty of murder following a trial at Liverpool Crown Court - the jury taking just one hour and nine minutes to reach a unanimous verdict.

Ms Boorne's family cried and embraced each other in the public gallery after the verdict was returned.

Gordon Cole KC, prosecuting, had earlier told the jury that Ms Boorne, a support worker, had phoned her mum, Cheryl, at around 3:30pm on the day she died.

Liam Cain has been sentenced to life for the murder of Courtney Boorne. Credit: Liverpool Echo

She had told her mother "if she didn't hear from her within an hour to call the police, because something was going on".

Around an hour later, a neighbour rang 999 reporting that she could see a woman in an apartment opposite "screaming and climbing onto the window ledge".

Mr Cole added: "She said that the female appeared to be shouting at someone inside the flat. Courtney Boorne was heard to shout 'please'.

She was crying and she was shouting, 'he has all the doors locked and he won't let me out'."

Another witness also called the police to "report a female shouting out of the window, screaming, shouting 'call the police, he's choking me'".

Police outside the Quarry Green Heights Credit: Liverpool Echo

Mr Cole said: "She was described by as screaming, and the window was then closed. What they couldn't see, of course, was what was going on inside the flat.

"The only two people inside the flat were Courtney Boorne and this defendant."

Police went to the 14th-storey property "very quickly" and had to force entry upon their arrival shortly before 5pm.

They discovered Ms Boorne unconscious on a bed in the bedroom with "visible marks to her neck".

She was rushed to Aintree University Hospital, but was pronounced dead at 7:02pm. A post-mortem investigation later found that she had suffered a cardiac arrest "because of the asphyxia, the strangulation, the smothering of her by this defendant".

Cain was arrested after being found "crouched down, leaning on an armchair in the living room" with "scratch marks" on his head and face.

The court heard he had sent his dad a text saying: "I love you the world, everyone.

The flats in Kirkby where Courtney Boorne was killed Credit: Liverpool Echo

Cain denied murder, maintaining that he acted in "reasonable self-defence" after Ms Boorne allegedly attacked him with a plant pot, a brush and a kitchen knife, apparently angered by a series of phone calls he had received from an unknown number.

However records showed no such contact on the killer's mobile, while the objects he claimed to have been assaulted with were found in positions which contradicted his account.

Cain, who showed no reaction to the verdict, is expected to be sentenced on Friday 21 July.

Following the verdict Detective Inspector Laura Lamping, of Merseyside Police, said: "This was a truly shocking and brutal murder of Courtney Boorne in her own home.

"As the court heard, her tragic death and the domestic violence she endured was abhorrent.

"Nobody can begin to understand the impact her sudden death has had on her family and friends, but I hope that this conviction will give Courtney’s family a sense of justice."