Page last updated at 16:30 GMT, Wednesday, 5 May 2010 17:30 UK

Paula Poolton murder suspect 'made up alibi'

Paula Poolton
Mrs Poolton used to be a steward at Southampton Football Club

A man murdered his married lover and then fabricated an alibi to cover his tracks, a court has been told.

Roger Kearney, 57, stabbed Paula Poolton to death when she started putting pressure on him to leave his partner, Winchester Crown Court heard.

Mrs Poolton, 40, of Titchfield in Fareham, Hampshire, was found dead in the boot of her car near Swanwick railway station on 28 October 2008.

She had gone missing 11 days earlier. Mr Kearney denies murder.

The pair were having an affair during the summer of 2008, jurors heard.

Nicholas Haggan QC, prosecuting, said that Mrs Poolton had told friends she wanted to leave her husband but Mr Kearney was in fact "tiring" of the relationship.

Mr Haggan said on the day she disappeared, Mrs Poolton told Carol Bertie she had been looking for a house to buy and to move in with Mr Kearney and was meeting him that night.

'Washed clothes'

She was prone to going on "benders" and her husband did not raise the alarm until a few days after she failed to return home on 17 October, the jury was told.

Police soon found out about the affair and questioned Mr Kearney as a witness.

Mr Haggan said that significantly he referred to his lover in the past tense on several occasions.

Roger Kearney
Roger Kearney had an secret affair with Mrs Poolton

The court was told that Royal Mail driver Mr Kearney lied about his whereabouts during a crucial hour after Mrs Poolton's car was last seen on CCTV.

He said he had left for a night shift at 2200 BST for the 15-minute drive to work when CCTV footage showed he left home at 2131 BST.

He also lied about the route saying he drove away from the spot, near Swanwick railway station, where Mrs Poolton's car was found towards his work but footage showed Mr Kearney's Mitsubishi Shogun driving towards the railway station, the court heard.

When he got home after work he washed all his clothing including his fluorescent jacket, jurors were told.

The prosecution said there was no forensic evidence to link Mr Kearney, or anybody else, to the murder and nobody saw the accused kill Mrs Poolton.

However Mr Haggan said a lengthy investigation had uncovered many pieces of evidence which showed he did carry out the murder.

Mr Kearney worked with Mrs Poolton at Southampton Football Club where they were stewards.

The trial continues.

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