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Husband goes on trial accused of wife’s murder on boating trip

The scene of the boating tragedy on Lough Erne in Co Fermanagh in 2017. Credit: Pacemaker

A man has gone on trial accused of murdering his wife Lu Na McKinney during a family boating trip in Co Fermanagh in 2017.

Stephen McKinney - 43 and originally from Strabane, but with an address at Castletown Square in Fintona – denies murder.

The prosecution claims McKinney was a controlling husband who killed his wife because he was tired of her and could not face the prospect of being divorced.

The 35-year-old woman died at Devenish Island on Lough Erne in April 2017.

Lu Na McKinney died while on a boating trip with her family in Co Fermanagh. Credit: Pacemaker

The court heard that McKinney lived with his wife and two children in China before returning to the Republic of Ireland in 2016 and settling in Co Donegal.

The prosecution claim Lu Na McKinney was incapacitated at the time after taking sleeping tablets, and that her husband caused her to enter the water.

The jury of seven men and five woman heard that the accused told police: “He tried his best to save her.”

Stephen McKinney is accused of murdering his wife Lu Na McKinney. Credit: Pacemaker

The court heard that McKinney claims his wife slipped, that he jumped in to help her and that he was trying to keep her up above the water, but she pulled him down.

The jury was told by the prosecution that the case was circumstantial, but that when all the evidence was heard they would find “this is not a tragic accident, but Stephen McKinney killed his wife”.

The trial is expected to last eight weeks.

Lough Erne in Co Fermanagh, where the mother-of-two died. Credit: Pacemaker

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