A man with an address in Donegal accused of murdering his wife during a boating holiday in County Fermanagh has gone on trial.

Lu Na McKinney, 35, died after entering the water at Devenish Island on Lough Erne in April 2017.

Her husband, Stephen McKinney, 43, denies the charge of murder on a date unknown between 11 and 14 April 2017.

The couple who lived in Convoy, had hired a cruiser with their two children for a three-night Easter break on Lough Erne.

Stephen McKinney, who lives in Castletown Square in Fintona, County Tyrone, but is originally from Strabane, claimed his wife had drowned in a tragic accident.

He told police his wife had fallen into the water after going to check the mooring ropes in the early hours of the morning.

He said his wife could not swim and he had jumped into the water.

Lu Na McKinney, 35, died after entering the water at Devenish Island on Lough Erne

He told a police officer that he had “tried my best to save her” but that she kept pulling him down.

Opening the prosecution case, Richard Weir QC said this was not a tragic accident and Stephen McKinney had caused his wife to enter the water.

He said she would have been incapacitated having taken a number of sleeping tablets obtained by her husband on the internet.

The lawyer said Mr McKinney had given conflicting accounts of how his wife had come to be in the lough.

He said the weather that night was good, with little wind, no rain, calm water and a full moon.

The prosecution lawyer claimed Stephen McKinney was “a controlling man who was tired of his wife but was not prepared to accept her divorcing him and all the consequences that would entail”.

Although a circumstantial case, he told the jury after hearing the strands of evidence “you’ll be sure that Stephen McKinney killed his wife”.

The jury of seven men and five women at Dungannon Crown Court have been told they will hear evidence from more than 100 witnesses.

The trial is expected to last eight weeks.


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