Partner of Kat Parton in court accused of murder in Belfast home

A woman allegedly beaten to death by her partner in east Belfast lay undiscovered for up to six days, a court has been told. Police were alerted after 34-year-old Kathryn Parton’s body was found in the blood-stained bedroom of her Madrid Street property last Wednesday. Jamie Love, 23, who lived at the address, appeared at the city’s Magistrates Court charged with the murder sometime between May 9 and 15. His mother and a friend are accused of helping him get to alternative accommodation in the aftermath of the killing. Suzanne Love, 43, of Isoline Street in Belfast, and 22-year-old friend Reece Oliver, from Castleton Avenue in the city have been jointly charged with assisting an offender and aiding and abetting a breach of bail. Suzanne Love, who was escorted into the dock on a wheelchair, faces a further count of attempting to pervert the course of justice in connection with the murder inquiry. Police claimed she removed and tried to destroy clothing and footwear evidence from the crime scene. All three defendants nodded briefly to confirm they understood the charges against them. The court heard the body of Ms Parton, known as Kat, was discovered by her father when he became concerned that she had not been in contact for a number of days. “She was not breathing and cold, he believed she had been beaten,” an investigating detective inspector said. Police called to the property identified blood around the body, on the bed and the walls. Further signs of a disturbance included a television broken from a bracket and lying on the bedroom floor. Jamie Love was in a relationship with the victim and staying at her home on an on-off basis, according to police. Based on CCTV footage and inquiries with witnesses in the area, he is alleged to have assaulted Ms Parton on May 9. “She was last seen alive earlier that day with Jamie Love,” the detective said. Although post-mortem examinations have not established when the victim died, it is believed that her death was due to haemorrhaging. “There had been an attack on Kathryn which was sustained and all focused on her head, due to the amount of blood and the distribution of it in the room,” the detective added. The court was also told that Ms Love changed her version of events when questioned by police. In an initial account, she claimed the three accused attended the Madrid Street address and found Ms Parton crying but uninjured. Later, she stated that the victim was on the bedroom floor, injured but still responsive. Two bloodied footprints found at the scene matched footwear recovered at Ms Love’s house, according to police. They had allegedly been washed and put out to dry in the sun. It was also claimed that in the immediate after of the killing Jamie Love travelled to stay in Strabane and Portaferry. He was said to have been transported by Oliver to stay in accommodation booked by Ms Love. “She has assisted her son with obtaining two separate addresses on opposite sides of the country immediately after this offence took place,” the detective contended. Jamie Love did not seek bail and was remanded in custody until next month. Ms Love’s solicitor, Paul Farrell, argued there was no evidence that Ms Parton was dead during the brief period his client was at the house. “It’s the police case that death occurred without the use of weapons, this was as a result of fists and physical contact,” he submitted. “Haemorrhaging could have taken place over a prolonged period.” Oliver’s lawyer, Stephen Clarke, described him as a vulnerable individual who went to the Madrid Street house to help a friend but knew nothing about what had happened upstairs. Refusing their applications for bail, District Judge Steven Keown cited the risks of interference with witnesses and re-offending. All three accused were remanded in custody, to appear back in court on June 17. As they were being led from the dock, members of the public gallery shouted abuse and threats at them.

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