The boyfriend of a mother-of-two whose body was found in a makeshift grave a week after she was reported missing has admitted murdering her.
Andrew Burfield, 51, previously denied intending to kill Katie Kenyon, 33, and had told police he accidentally killed her when throwing an axe at a tree for a bet, a jury heard. But today he sensationally changed his plea to admit the murder of Katie on the third day of his trial at Preston Crown Court. He was re-arraigned on the charge on Wednesday morning and the jury in the case formally found him guilty. He will be sentenced tomorrow (17 November).
The court previously heard Burfield, a builder, used Katie’s phone to message her children after he killed her and buried her body in the Forest of Bowland in Lancashire.
Jurors were told he borrowed a spade from his father and had driven to Gisburn Forest, Lancashire, where he dug a grave for her the day before the killing.
And draft notes recovered from his iPhone suggested he had “created” messages impersonating Katie which said prosecutors showed “murder was on his mind.”
Opening the trial on Monday, David McLachlan KC, told the jury Burfield was arrested following Katie’s disappearance and interviewed four times.
But he said CCTV footage showed Burfield getting into his white Ford Transit van with Katie around 9am on the morning of April 22 and heading to the murder site.
Following the killing, he used her phone to write messages to himself and her children, with one saying: “I want you to know that I’m truly sorry for everything.”
Another message read: “Hey dude, I love you and sorry”, with a broken heart emoji attached to it, suggesting Katie had to “go away somewhere”.
Burfield later admitted in a police interview that he had killed Katie, but claimed it was an “accident” and he had buried her body to stop “animals getting to her”, jurors heard.
Police officers investigating the killing later found the flip-flops Katie was wearing on the day when she was murdered as well as a “tescos bin bag with blood on it.”
Following this grim discovery on 24 April, Burfield was arrested where he repeatedly told police he didn’t know where she was, but thought she might be at “rehab centre.”
He finally admitted some responsibility for Katie’s death on 27 April, claiming that she had suffered a head injury from an axe he threw after she asked him if he could hit a “can of coke” with it. He said the axe had then rebounded and “hit her in the head” and he “couldn’t pick her up because she was too heavy.”