Bury St Edmunds: Former TA soldier denies killing man

A FORMER Territorial Army soldier has denied killing a man by stabbing a screwdriver in to his chest during a late-night row over a dog.

Giving evidence to a jury at Ipswich Crown Court Mark Turner claimed that Robin Lionnet had picked up the screwdriver and he had disarmed him. “It looked like a knife. I thought I’ve got to get it off him. I pounced on him and tried to get the weapon off him and I ended up with the screwdriver,” said Turner

He said he had not deliberately stabbed 42-year-old Mr Lionnet and did not realise at the time that he had been injured.

Turner, 48, of Cockfield, has denied murdering Mr Lionnet on February 21.

The court has heard that Mr Lionnet had lived on his own with his dog Max in Ashwell Road, Bury St Edmunds, since the end of 2009 when his relationship with his partner Claire Keeble ended and she and their two daughters had moved in with Turner.

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Contact between Mr Lionnet and his partner and two daughters had ceased shortly afterwards and nothing had happened until the early morning of February 21 this year when Turner allegedly went to Mr Lionnet’s house at around 12midnight and demanded that he hand over Max.

It is alleged that after threatening to kill Mr Lionnet, Turner stabbed him once in the chest with a screwdriver and left with the dog.

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Police who went to Ashwell Road found Turner sitting in his van with the screwdriver on the passenger seat and Max in the back of the vehicle.

Mr Lionnet was found in his back garden crying for help and despite the efforts of the emergency services he died shortly afterwards at Bury’s West Suffolk Hospital.

A post-mortem examination showed he had suffered a 6-7cm deep stab wound which had punctured his lung.The court heard Mr Lionnet suffered from asthma and emphysema which had contributed to his death.

Turner, who was a member of the Territorial Army from 1981-93, said that after deciding he was going to get the dog from Mr Lionnet he had told one of his partner’s daughters that he was going to have a surprise for them all in the morning.

He said that when he knocked at Mr Lionnet’s door and told him he had come to get the dog Mr Lionnet had looked angry and had come towards him.

Turner had responded by pushing Mr Lionnet forcefully in the chest causing him to fall to the floor.

He said that when Mr Lionnet started to get up he noticed he was holding a weapon and had disarmed him.

Turner said as he left the premises with Max Mr Lionnet had been standing at the door and had then shut the door.

The trial continues today.

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