Husband ‘boasted of murder’
The estranged English wife of a former Ballymena man claimed in court yesterday that he coldly confessed to drowning his first partner and later boasted he had “committed the perfect murder”.
A clearly upset Gwen Mawhinney was giving evidence at the Belfast Crown Court trial of her 51-year-old former husband, Billy Mawhinney.
However, she revealed that while he allegedly confessed in 2002, four years after they married, it was another six years before she eventually went to police.
Mawhinney denies drowning his 35-year-old partner Lorraine Elizabeth Mills in front of their young daughter in the Staffa Drive home they shared 15 years ago.
His estranged wife claimed “there was no emotion whatsoever” when he told her he had found Ms Mills “p****d out of her head lying in the bath” on May 28, 1995, and that “he just walked in and pushed her head under the water, and walked out”.
She further claimed that sometime later, when the detective series CSI (Crime Scene Investigation) came on, he would complain: “I don't know why we're watching this, we've already committed the perfect murder”. However, during cross-examination by defence QC Patrick Lyttle, an even more upset Mrs Mawhinney denied any suggestion that she “made up” the confession.
“Oh he did it... there's no chance that I ever... made this up,” Mrs Mawhinney insisted, before continuing: “Absolutely no chance... that man told me what he did.”
She also told Mr Lyttle it didn’t matter what way he tried “to twist it”, nor that she might “have got things mixed up” — her husband had confessed to her.
“He told me he killed her that night, that's all that matters,” she said.
Although Mrs Mawhinney revealed that she'd left her husband to marry Mawhinney in 1998, and that their divorce becomes final at the end of the month, she “wasn't bothered about anybody else”.
Mrs Mawhinney will again be cross-examined tomorrow.