Sian Rees murder: John Doyle admits 'causing death'
A Devon property developer has admitted causing the death of his girlfriend whose body was found his his van.
John Doyle, 54, of Merton Mill, Merton, denies murdering Sian Rees, his partner of 14 years, and told Exeter Crown Court her death was an accident.
Mr Doyle said that on 30 June he grabbed Ms Rees, 50, by the throat to restrain her while she was brandishing a knife, which then went into her.
Her body was found in his van when it crashed the following day.
The court heard that Mr Doyle and Ms Rees, a solicitor who was originally from Aberdare in south Wales, had argued at their property after he had turned up late and drunk to collect her from hospital.
He said she was "hysterical and screaming" and had a knife which she was using to cut up some leather.'Fell forward'
Mr Doyle told the court that he tried to grab the knife, but as he did so she pushed forward causing him to use his left hand on her throat to restrain her.
He said: "I grabbed her and gripped her neck and pushed her back towards the Rayburn.
"I had my left hand on her throat as we fell forward. I landed on her with my hand on her throat.
"I was trying to stop it, I was trying to stop the struggle when I put my hand out.
"I accept I caused her death. I did not mean for the knife to go into her. It was an accident.
"I did not intend to kill her. I did not intend to harm her at all."
Mr Doyle told the court Ms Rees was left unconscious and he decided to take her to Okehampton Hospital but he turned back when he realised she was dead.
He said he attempted to take her to hospital the following day but his van was involved in a crash on the A386 near Hatherleigh and her body was found in the vehicle.
The trial continues.