Morecambe woman denies caravan park murder

Preston Crown Court.  PIC BY ROB LOCK
Preston Crown Court. PIC BY ROB LOCK

A furious girlfriend plunged a bread knife into her boyfriend’s heart after becoming angry at him spending time on Facebook, a court has heard.

Terri-Marie Palmer, 23, denies murdering Damon Searson at the caravan they shared in Heysham, in a heated tiff last August.

Preston Crown Court heard the pair had a stormy relationship after meeting at the hairdressers where Palmer worked in Lancaster.

Searson had spent time in rehab after being released from a prison and would often “go missing” on drink and drugs sessions.

In July 2015 the pair set up home at the Stud Farm Caravan Park, Oxcliffe Road, Heysham.

But in the weeks leading up to Mr Searson’s death, the court heard of text messages between the pair which ranged from tender and sexual to violent and angry.

In one message, sent on July 16 Palmer told her partner: “Crying myself to sleep for the second time this week and it’s only Wednesday. Thanks Damon. I’m so angry and hurt I honestly want to rip Jack’s face off and f***ing stab you.”

But a week later she was arranging to move into the caravan with Mr Searson, the court heard.

On the evening of August 13 Palmer was venting her frustrations with her boyfriend to a pal on Facebook, as the couple sat at home in the caravan.

She told a friend she was angry that she was paying the rent while he spent money on a mobile phone and shopping, later telling her: “He p***es me off sitting on Facebook, completely blanking me when I’m talking to him. All he does is sits there and adds loads of girls. He’s a f***ing little prick.”

Over the course of the evening, Palmer told her friend she was planning to leave Searson and move back in to her mother’s house, adding she was “fuming” with Searson.

Just after midnight on August 14 a neighbour heard a disturbance in the caravan next door, followed by knocking on his door and a woman in distress.

He saw the door of Palmer’s caravan was open and went inside.

Searson was lying on the floor, bleeding heavily from a wound to his chest.

On the settee was a bread knife, covered in blood.

Palmer was on the phone to a 999 operative who was giving her instructions to stem the blood.

She told the operator her boyfriend had been drunk and playing with a knife when it had gone into his chest.

She later told police he had asked her to throw the knife to him, and it had accidentally penetrated his heart.

Mr Searson was taken to Lancaster Royal Infirmary where he was later declared dead.

Palmer was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder but when officers told her her boyfriend had died, she said: “I didn’t mean for it to get him.”

Opening the trial at Preston Crown Court, Francis McEntee, prosecuting, said: “Penetrating stab wounds to the chest are almost always caused by deliberate stabbing thrusts.”

He said having lied once to the paramedics, Palmer could lie again.

Palmer, of Warton Avenue, Heysham, denies murder.

(Proceeding)