Page last updated at 14:37 GMT, Tuesday, 21 July 2009 15:37 UK

Murder accused 'engaged' to model

Amy Leigh Barnes
Amy Leigh Barnes had suffered multiple stab wounds

A man accused of stabbing his model girlfriend to death at their Greater Manchester home has told a court they were engaged and trying for a baby.

Amy Leigh Barnes, 19, was found dying in a pool of blood by her father at the house she shared with Ricardo Morrison in Farnworth, Bolton, in November 2008.

Mr Morrison told Manchester Crown Court he had been planning to buy Ms Barnes an engagement ring that month.

The 21-year-old amateur footballer, from Birmingham, denies murder.

Mr Morrison told the jury the couple had been planning their future despite regular arguments during their nine-month relationship.

I was unhappy with some of the friends she was associating with
Ricardo Morrison

"We were engaged, we were trying for a baby as well," he said.

The pair rowed constantly about money and when either of them went out at night separately, he said.

"I was unhappy with some of the friends she was associating with," Mr Morrison told the jury.

He denied ever assaulting Ms Barnes but claimed she had once punched him in the groin.

Joint Facebook page

Previously, the court was read text messages in which Ms Barnes said Mr Morrison had made threats and attacked her.

But he told the court that during their time together he had never punched her, threatened her with a knife or locked her in a room.

The court heard that the couple had set up a joint page on social networking website Facebook.

As well as their own individual pages, they had one entitled Mr and Mrs Morrison.

Morrison told the court that he did not know his girlfriend had visited Fort Alice, a local project for young women suffering domestic violence, nor did he know that she was seeing a number of men while they were together.

He denied sending a text message saying he "hoped she got raped" while she was on a night out without him.

"My exact words were 'you could get raped because your friends have left you in vulnerable positions before'," he said.

Mother accused

Excerpts of text message exchanges two days before Miss Barnes' death were revealed to the court.

She told Morrison she was "depressed" and that he tried "to control her".

He sent her a text message saying their "future would be perfect" because he had £600,000 tied up in assets.

Later that day he sent her a message saying he threatened to commit suicide at a railway station, the jury heard.

The couple made up when he returned home from work later that day and he said he "had been feeling sorry for himself", the court was told.

His mother Melda Wilks, 49, of Hollyhill Road, Rubery, a police officer with the West Midlands force, is in the dock beside her son.

She denies assisting her son by destroying forensic evidence. The trial continues.

Print Sponsor

Jury hears dying model's 999 call
16 Jul 09 |  Manchester
Model told of boyfriend 'threats'
15 Jul 09 |  Manchester
Father found model daughter dying
14 Jul 09 |  Manchester
Dying model plea 'he stabbed me'
13 Jul 09 |  Manchester

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2019 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific