A SOUTH Yorkshire music teacher and his fiancee - who he is accused of strangling, battering and stabbing to death - were described in court as a ‘perfect little family’.
Andrew Lindo, aged 29, who worked at Take Two Academy in Barnsley, has admitted the manslaughter of his partner Marie Stewart, but denies murdering her last December 18 at their home in Holmfirth, West Yorkshire.
Bradford Crown Court was told after killing his partner, Lindo put her body in a flight bag and stored it in his garage, then drove to Barnsley to pick up his lover.
Miss Stewart’s body was not found for several weeks during which time Lindo allegedly used the 30-year-old’s Facebook profile and mobile phone to convince her family and friends she had deserted her young son and daughter and run off with a new man.
The prosecution say it was infact Lindo who was living a double life with another woman and was planning a future with her.
Giving evidence, a friend of the couple, Hollie Carter, told the jury Miss Stewart had been married previously, but the relationship broke down when she had an affair with Lindo.
Asked to describe the couple as they expected their first child, she told the jury: “They were extremely happy in anticipation of their first child.
“Very excited about having a baby. They just seemed a perfect couple expecting their first child together.”
Mrs Carter, a serving police officer with West Yorkshire Police, went on to describe them as a “perfect little family”.
The jury was told Marie’s body was not discovered for two months.
The alert was raised by her family after she failed to see her children over Christmas and missed her son’s first birthday.
The court heard the killing took place at the couple’s home in Perseverance Place, Holmfirth, West Yorkshire.
Lindo told police he strangled Miss Stewart in their bedroom then wrapped her in a duvet and tried to heave her into a suitcase.
When she failed to succomb, he hit her with a chair, strangled her with a belt and stabbed her, the prosecution allege.
It is claimed he hid her body in the garage, stuffed in a Virgin Atlantic flight bag, and used Vanish to clean the house.
Michelle Colbourne QC, prosecuting said: “When he rendered her unconscious in their bedroom, dragged her body down to the garage, in between times strangling her with his belt, beating her with a wooden chair, placing bubblewrap on her face before finally ending what you may conclude was undoubted torture for her by stabbing her in a determined knife attack, he had her death firmly in mind.”
The jury heard after Miss Stewart died, Lindo left the house and drove to Barnsley with his children to collect lover Angela Rylance and took her back to the family home.
When police searched Lindo’s house on February 13, they found the body.
The prosecutor said Lindo had a series of relationships with other women while with Miss Stewart.
She said: “He was untruthful to the deceased, he was manipulative towards her, seeking to persuade her he loved her whilst entering into sexual relationships with a series of hapless women.”
She added: “He is a philanderer who has been caught out by his lies but, true to form, continues those lies before you.”
The prosecutor said Lindo will claim he killed Miss Stewart to protect his daughter because his partner was mistreating her.
But Ms Colborne said that was untrue and the defendant was an “inveterate and accomplished liar”.
The trial continues.