Carl Mills trial: Murder accused 'in love' with victim

  • 11 July 2013
  • From the section Wales
Kim Buckley, Kayleigh Buckley and Kimberley Buckley
Image caption Kim Buckley, Kayleigh Buckley and Kimberley Buckley died in the fire

A man accused of murdering three generations of family, including his girlfriend, said the pair were in love and planned to marry, a jury has heard.

Carl Mills, 28, denies killing Kayleigh Buckley, 17, their six-month-old daughter Kimberley and her grandmother Kim.

The three died in a fire at their home in Cwmbran, Torfaen.

In police statements read out at Newport Crown Court, Mr Mills said there were no relationship problems.

But he admitted they were "paranoid" about each other cheating.

The jury were given more details about the relationship between Mr Mills and his girlfriend through statements he made when he was arrested by Gwent Police after the fire in Coed Eva in September 2012.

The court heard all three inside the house died as a result of the fire and the products of fire.

The jury was told the couple met on Facebook in August 2010 when Kayleigh was aged 15.

They kept in contact and in the October Mr Mills caught a coach from Manchester where he lived to visit her.

Mr Mills said he stayed in a B&B during the visit.

In the interviews Mr Mills said: "We didn't get together until she was 16, just after her 16th birthday."

Kayleigh turned 16 in December 2010 and the court was told the couple did not have sex until May 2011.

'Holding hands'

Image caption Carl Mills is accused of killing his daughter, girlfriend and her mother

Initially, the jury heard, Kim Buckley did not approve of the relationship.

Mr Mills said: "Her mother found out about us in March. She didn't like it, she kept taking Kayleigh's phone off her.

"But then she gave up and told Kayleigh she could do what she wanted."

When asked about the state of their relationship, Mr Mills said: "We were happy, holding hands like a normal couple."

He said their relationship was "really good" and Kayleigh was "all right, a good laugh and everything like that".

Eventually, Mr Mills moved from sleeping on the sofa at her house and into her bedroom.

Kayleigh became pregnant in September 2011.

Mr Mills said the pregnancy was "kind of" planned.

"She said she wanted kids but I was not bothered," he added.

'Mainly in love'

When asked how he felt about the pregnancy, Mr Mills said: "I was alright about it. I was worried about what her mum would say because her mum said she was too young."

He said Kim Buckley was "shocked at first" but eventually "became happy".

The court was told Kayleigh's pregnancy was problematic and she went into labour 15 weeks early, the day after she had received laser treatment following the stillbirth of Kimberley's twin sister Angel.

Kimberley was born on 10 March, deaf and blind and suffering with lung difficulties.

The jury heard how Mr Mills had told police he and Kayleigh were "mainly in love" but that they had "a few arguments".

He admitted there was "paranoia" on both sides.

He said: "If I didn't answer my calls she will think I've cheated on her."

Eventually, Mr Mills's access to Kimberley was stopped because of his alcoholism.

On the third day of police questioning, the defendant was asked in detail about text messages to Kayleigh in the hours before she died.

At this point Mr Mills stopped answering questions, the jury heard.

The prosecution has finished its evidence and the trial continues.

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