Lu Na McKinney: Husband on trial over boating holiday death

By Julian Fowler
BBC News NI South-West Reporter

Stephen McKinneyImage source, Pacemaker
Image caption,
Stephen McKinney denies murdering his wife Lu Na McKinney

A County Tyrone man has gone on trial accused of murdering his wife during a boating holiday on Lough Erne.

The body of 35-year-old Lu Na McKinney was found in the water close to a jetty at Devenish Island in County Fermanagh in April 2017.

Her husband Stephen McKinney, 44, from Castletown Square in Fintona, claims she drowned in a tragic accident.

The trial at Dungannon Crown Court is expected to hear evidence from 70 witnesses and last up to 10 weeks.

The couple lived in Convoy, County Donegal, and had hired a cruiser with their two children for a three-night Easter break on Lough Erne.

Mr McKinney told police his wife had fallen into the water after going to check the mooring ropes in the early hours of the morning.

He said his wife could not swim and he had jumped in and tried his best to save her.

'Not an accident'

On the opening day of the trial at Dungannon Crown Court, prosecution lawyer Richard Weir QC said: "This is not a tragic boating accident".

He told the jury that Stephen McKinney had given conflicting accounts of how his wife had come to be in the lough.

The lawyer said it was the prosecution case that "he caused Lu Na to be in the water, that he killed his wife".

He claimed Stephen McKinney was "a controlling man who had tired of his wife but was not prepared to accept she might divorce him, with all the consequences that would have for him and his children".

Mr McKinney denies all the charges against him.

The trial continues.

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