Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 27 December 2014

Murder-accused 'lured' pregnant ex

Eystna Blunnie was heavily pregnant when she died in June last year
Eystna Blunnie was heavily pregnant when she died in June last year

A man lured his heavily pregnant ex-fiancee to her death saying "I've got a surprise for you" before brutally killing her and their unborn baby, a court has been told.

Tony McLernon convinced Eystna Blunnie to meet him in a street in Harlow, Essex, telling her in a text message "Got a surprise for you, hope you like it", Chelmsford Crown Court heard.

But when the heavily pregnant 20-year-old met him in the early hours of June 27 last year, unemployed McLernon, fuelled by alcohol and cannabis, forced her to the ground where he repeatedly kicked and stamped on her, prosecutor Andrew Jackson said.

"It was an act of brutal, sustained and wholly unprovoked violence," Mr Jackson added. "He knew he was not only killing her but their unborn child as well."

Residents living near the scene of the alleged attack in the town's Howard Way, minutes from Ms Blunnie's home, heard her "horrific" screams and the impact of the blows. Ms Blunnie, who was due to give birth within days, was later found with severe head and facial injuries and died in hospital.

After the alleged killings, McLernon hid in nearby woodlands and sent a text message to his father saying "I'm scared". He later spoke to his father on the phone and told him "I think I've killed Eystna", the court heard.

McLernon, 24, from North Grove, Harlow, denies murdering Ms Blunnie and a charge of child destruction by wilfully causing the death of an unborn child.

A series of text messages, sent by McLernon to friends and family, were read to the court. In one, sent on June 23, he wrote: "I f****** swear bro, I'm going to knife Eystna soon, she's proper ruining my relationship."

In other messages sent to his cousin, he claimed that Ms Blunnie had been contacting his new partner. He added: "I'm sure I'm going prison Monday, my ex is proper trying to ruin my relationship with my new girl."

The case is expected to last up to four weeks.

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