Man admits murdering ex with burying body in forest after break-up

A man has today pleaded guilty to murdering his ex-girlfriend whose body was found in a makeshift grave in a forest.

Andrew Burfield, 51, changed his plea to admit the murder of 33-year-old Katie Kenyon on the third day of his trial at Preston Crown Court.

He was re-arraigned on the charge this morning and the jury in the case formally found him guilty.

The trial heard he killed Ms Kenyon on April 22 and buried her body in a grave, which he had dug the day before her death, in the Forest of Bowland in Lancashire.

He then sent messages to himself and her children from her phone, the jury was told.

Burfield told police he killed her accidentally when throwing an axe at a tree, the court heard earlier this week.

Opening the trial on Monday, David McLachlan KC, prosecuting, told the jury Burfield was arrested following Miss Kenyon’s disappearance and interviewed four times, initially denying any knowledge of her whereabouts.

In his penultimate interview there was a “revelation” and his version of events changed, Mr McLachlan said.

Burfield, of Burnley, told police he had taken Ms Kenyon, who he had been in a relationship with since 2019, to Gisburn Forest for a picnic and she had “bet” him he could not hit her can of Coke with his axe.

The court heard he then threw the axe to a tree but missed and hit her head.

In the police interview, Burfield apparently said: “I just sat there with her in my arms, covered in blood. Honest to God, it was like sommat from a film.”

He claimed she had been hit with the back of the axe and had no other injuries, but the jury heard a post mortem showed she was struck an estimated 12 times.

Burfield told police he couldn’t get her body to the van, so he took a spade and dug a hole to put Ms Kenyon in as he didn’t want anyone to see her, or the animals getting to her. 

He said he dug around 1.5ft and covered it with twigs and leaves.

Burfield said he then put Katie’s phone and bank cards in a fire and took the ashes to a bin outside the Spar.

Ms Kenyon’s body was discovered by police on April 29.

Burfield is due to be sentenced tomorrow at 10.30am.