Man accused of murdering his partner allegedly told others she had hurt herself

Police at Alfred Street South Normanton, following the death of 30-year-old mum Keeley McGrath.
Police at Alfred Street South Normanton, following the death of 30-year-old mum Keeley McGrath.

An accused murderer allegedly attempted to cover his tracks after the death of his partner as he became involved in a string of conversations with others.

Nottingham Crown Court heard during an on-going trial how Anthony Davis, 39, of Alfred Street, at South Normanton, allegedly punched, kicked, stabbed and beat 30-year-old Keeley McGrath before her death.

Nottingham Crown Court.

Nottingham Crown Court.

Prosecuting barrister Michael Auty QC claimed Mr Davis murdered his partner in the early hours of December 13, 2018, at their home after he had discovered she had been having an affair with neighbour Neil Sharpe.

Mr Auty QC said Mr Davis first called his work at 6.24am and 7.30am during December 13 and made no mention of Keeley while her concerned parent Claire McGrath located Keeley’s phone at Alfred Street with a ‘Find My iPhone’ app after their had been no response.

The defendant took two of Keeley’s children to nursery, according to Mr Auty QC, and phoned Neil Sharpe’s partner Mandy Smith.

Mr Auty QC said: “What he was about was trying to cover his tracks. He was thinking about what he was going to say to literally get away with murder.

“He knew Keeley was dead but what he did not want to do was face the fact that he had done it.”

Mr Auty QC revealed mum-of-three Keeley suffered with anxiety and depression and self-harming issues and when Mr Davis responded to a call at 8.38am from friend Michelle Kerry he allegedly told her Keeley was “in a mess” and she had “cut herself up”.

Mr Davis also received a text from Keeley’s stepfather Martin McGrath asking where Keeley was and if the children were okay and he replied at 9.27am they were at nursery.

But Mr Auty QC said it was not until Mr Davis’s friends Stephen and Michelle Kerry visited Mr Davis at Alfred Street about 9.35am that they found Keeley on the settee and an ambulance was called.

Mr Davis texted Martin McGrath again and stated everything would be okay and Keeley had broken her phone.

But paramedics certified Keeley as dead shortly afterwards on December 13, 2018, and police were alerted and her death was described as suspicious.

After 10.45am, Mr Davis took his dog to Mandy Smith’s home and told her Keeley had really hurt herself and he had put her on the setee, according to Mr Auty QC.

Following midday, he phoned Martin McGrath and told him Keeley had “passed away” and Keeley had “hurt herself badly”.

Mr McGrath sent a text at 12.14pm that stated: “I’m so sorry Tony, but we need to know more. Please tell us what happened as soon as you can.”

Mr Davis texted back at 12.19pm: “She’s hurt herself badly. I need to get more details from the police. I’ll update you when I can”, and he added, ”Can’t get my head round it. I’m totally gutted.”

At 12.21pm, Martin McGrath texted: “Thank you. Shall we come up? I don’t know whether we should or not. I can’t really think straight.”

At 12.29pm, Mr Davis texted that he did not think there was any need for Mr McGrath to come but Mr McGrath texted again asking for more information.

Mr Davis texted back at 1.55pm: “I found her this morning. House was a mess. She was bruised and cut. I’m waiting to hear from police. I will tell you more when I know.”

But Mr McGrath sent a further text which stated: “Is there a possibility that she did not do this to herself?”

Mr Davis texted: “When I know more, I will let you know.”

And Mr McGrath finally texted, “Tony, is it possible?”, but Mr Davis did not reply, according to Mr Auty QC.

The cause of death, according to Mr Auty QC, has been given as a result of chest and head injuries after Keeley McGrath’s body showed 48 external signs of injury.

Mr Auty QC claimed Keeley had been attacked mainly in a bedroom and the couple appeared to have also moved downstairs during the incident but Mr Davis told others she had fallen.

Anthony Davis, who runs haulage and plant hire businesses, was arrested and interviewed by police but answered no comment to questions.

Mr Davis has pleaded not guilty to murder. The trial continues.