Kayleigh Dunning murder trial: Accused Mark Brandford admits having crowbar to use as 'weapon'

A MAN accused of murder denied killing his fiancee with a crowbar he had under his bed - but he admitted that he stored it as a ‘weapon’.

Friday, 12th February 2021, 2:58 pm
Updated Friday, 12th February 2021, 3:49 pm

Mark Brandford, 49, rejected accusations he brutally killed his partner Kayleigh Dunning with a crowbar at his Kingston Crescent flat in North End overnight on December 16-17, 2019.

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The defendant admitted to jurors at Portsmouth Crown Court he kept a crowbar under his bed but denied it was the same weapon used to kill Ms Dunning, 32, with.

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CCTV shown to a murder trial jury at Portsmouth Crown Court shows Mark Brandford at Betfred in Arundel Street when he gets a call from police about Kayleigh Dunning who had been reported missing on December 17

The court previously heard a 60cm crowbar was found in foliage off Mablethorpe Road in Wymering, in March 2020, but no DNA evidence was found on it.

Brandford, who told jurors he had doubts over his relationship with Ms Dunning due to her infidelity, admitted stealing a crowbar from his work lock-up.

Under cross-examination, prosecutor Simon Jones said: ‘You put (the crowbar) under your bed in case you had to use it as a weapon?’

‘Yes...to defend myself,’ replied Brandford.

The crowbar recovered by police investigating the death of Kayleigh Dunning in Portsmouth. Mark Brandford is on trial at Portsmouth Crown Court accused of her murder. He denies the charge. Picture: Hampshire police

Brandford went on to say how the crowbar he had was different to the one presented in court with it ‘smaller’ and ‘heavier’.

Mr Jones then said: ‘So where is it?’

‘I don’t know sir,’ Brandford said.

‘So the crowbar was taken out of your flat?’

‘Yes sir,’ the defendant replied, before confirming that only he and Ms Dunning were aware of the crowbar in his flat.

The prosecutor continued: ‘Can you explain how the crowbar you say you stole from your lock-up was not there when police came to the flat?’

‘I don’t know sir,’ said Brandford.

Asked why he did not tell police about a crowbar he had stored at his address when interviewed on December 19, 2019, after Ms Dunning’s murder, Brandford said: ‘It was something I didn’t want to talk about it as it was under the bed.’

He added: ‘Obviously me and Kayleigh stole it.’

Mr Jones responded: ‘You murdered Kayleigh with that crowbar didn’t you?’

Brandford replied: ‘Not true.’

Mr Jones added: ‘You did not talk about the crowbar because you used it to murder her.’

Brandford denies murder and a charge of revenge porn after a fake Facebook account of Ms Dunning was set up with a nude photo of her.

(Proceeding)

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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