Sunday 17 December 2017

Teacher who killed partner and hid body a "ladies man"

Dave Higgens

A music teacher who killed his partner and put her body in a suitcase in his garage was described in court today as a "ladies man".

A statement from music school director Geoff Whitfield was read out at the trial of Andrew Lindo, 29, who has admitted the manslaughter of Marie Stewart.

A jury at Bradford Crown Court has heard how Lindo admitted he strangled, battered and stabbed Miss Stewart, 30.

He then put her body in a suitcase and left it in his garage where it was not found for almost two months.

Lindo denies murdering Miss Stewart.

The trial has heard how he was working as a self-employed voice tutor at the Take Two academy, in Barnsley.

Today, the jury heard a statement from Take Two director Mr Whitfield, who said he was also a sub-postmaster.

Mr Whitfield said Lindo started work at the centre in September 2008 after he was recommended by another tutor.

He said Lindo was "very likeable, chatty and confident".

Mr Whitfield added: "I would say he was a ladies man. He certainly felt comfortable in the company of ladies."

He said he thought of Lindo as a "reliable tutor".

Mr Whitfield's wife Susan, who is also a director, said Lindo was "very charming, very confident, very chatty".

Lindo's nextdoor neighbour Louise Shackleton described the defendant, Miss Stewart and their two young children as a "normal, everyday, happy family".

But she described an incident when she saw Lindo outside his house picking up clothes which Miss Stewart was throwing out of an upstairs window.

Prosecutors allege Lindo was living a double life in the run up to him killing Miss Stewart on December 18, last year, at their home on Perseverance Place, Holmfirth, West Yorkshire.

They have told the jury he used her Facebook account and mobile phone to send messages to her family and friends when she was, in fact, dead.

Her body was found on February 13.

The jury has been told Lindo will claim he was forced to kill his partner to protect their daughter from mistreatment.

Prosecutors claim this is not true.

The trial was later adjourned for the day and will resume on Monday morning.

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