Man found guilty of ‘screwdriver’ murder in Bury St Edmunds

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A MAN accused of murdering another man by stabbing him with a screwdriver in an argument about a pet dog, has been unanimously found guilty.

Mark Turner, 48 of Green Lane, Cockfield, was charged with murdering Robin Lionnet, during a row at his home in Ashwell Road, Bury St Edmunds, back in February.

A jury at Ipswich Crown Court has this afternoon found Turner guilty of murder. He will be sentenced in about three weeks time.

The trial had earlier heard from Turner, a former TA soldier, how he never deliberately carried out the attack.

He had been arrested outside Mr Lionnet’s home. Beside him on the passenger seat of his van was a screwdriver which the prosecution said had been used to stab Mr Lionnet in the chest.

Neighbours in Ashwell Road told the trial that they had heard raised voices and someone making a death threat against Mr Lionnet while demanding that he hand over his pet dog Max.

But Turner said it was Mr Lionnet who was brandishing a screwdriver, and that he had disarmed him and been left holding the screwdriver. Turner said he did not realise Mr Lionett had been injured.

Turner who denied murder, told the a jury he called at Mr Lionnet’s house, in Ashwell Road, on February 21 with the aim of collecting a pet dog called Max.

He said he wanted to reunite Max with Claire Keeble, Mr Lionnet’s former partner and her two daughters who had moved in with him.

Mr Lionnet appeared angry when he answered the door, claimed Turner.

He said Mr Lionnet came towards him and that after pushing him to the floor, he had disarmed Mr Lionett.

Turner said that what Mr Lionnet was holding looked like a knife and decided he needed to get it away from him.

Despite being left holding the screwdriver, Turner said he had not deliberately stabbed Mr Lionnet and had been unaware when he left that he was injured.

Turner said that as he walked with Max to his van parked outside, Mr Lionnet, 42, was standing in the doorway of the house.

Replying to cross examination by prosecutor Peter Gair, Turner denied that he deliberately lied to police when interviewed following his arrest by failing to mention his claim that Mr Lionnet was armed with a screwdriver.

Mr Lionnet was found on a patio area in his rear garden by police officers.

He was treated by paramedics but died a short time later at the West Suffolk Hospital.

He suffered a 6cm deep stab wound which had punctured his lung. Mr Lionnet had emphysema and asthma which contributed to his death.

Judge John Devaux told Turner that he would continue to be remanded in custody till he is sentenced in three weeks time. No date has yet been fixed.