November 18, 2019 4.16 pm This story is over 52 months old

Mother of three died after “vicious” birthday assault in blood-covered caravan

The accused denies murder

A mother of three was murdered as a result of a “vicious and sustained” attack carried out on her 64th birthday, a jury was told on Monday.

Linda Treeby was allegedly punched, kicked, stamped on and struck with an ashtray after being attacked by Andrew Highton while they were staying at a holiday caravan at Ingoldmells as a “birthday treat” for her.

Emergency services were called to Summerlands Caravan Park in Ingoldmells at around 10pm on Wednesday, May 29, where Treeby was found with serious injuries. She was treated at the scene by the ambulance crew, but died a short time later.

At Monday’s hearing a jury heard that the couple had spent the late afternoon and early evening in a nearby pub before returning to their caravan.

William Harbage QC, prosecuting, told the jury at Lincoln Crown Court: “Linda Treeby had gone away from Nottingham to the Summerlands Caravan Park at Ingoldmells for a birthday treat.

“What should have been a day of celebration turned into a vicious, sustained and ultimately fatal assault on her inside the caravan where she was staying.

“The defendant concentrated his attack on her head. She was struck on the head repeatedly.

“The injuries she received were far more severe than might be caused by just punches. They indicate she had been kicked and stamped on.

“She also had a large laceration in the centre of her forehead where she had been struck with a substantial glass ashtray.

“The attack didn’t end there because the defendant also stamped on her groin leaving a heel mark from his shoe on the front of her pants before leaving her for dead on the floor of the caravan.

“You may think that the way he attacked her so savagely, we say, he must have intended to kill her.”

The jury was told that the couple had been in an on-off relationship for seven years. In March and April this year the relationship was off and Linda Treeby was seeing another man but she was back with Highton in May.

Mr Harbage said that a passer-by saw some of the attack through the caravan window and ran to a nearby pub for help.

She returned to the caravan with the site manager and the pair of them went inside.

Mr Harbage said: “They were met by a horrific scene. They found Linda Treeby lying on her back on the floor covered in blood but still alive. There was blood over much of the caravan.”

Ms Borrill dialled 999 and paramedics arrived before the ambulance at the scene.

Mr Harbage said: “Despite extensive efforts to save her, Linda Treeby’s life could not be saved.”

The jury was told that her death was due to head injuries. She had suffered injuries including bleeding on the brain, a fractured nose, a fractured bone in her throat and extensive bruising to her head and face.

Andrew Highton left the caravan and went to the home of a relative in Skegness and asked her for help saying he had done something “really stupid”.

He was driven back to the caravan and was subsequently arrested.

The prosecutor said that Highton later claimed that Linda Treeby punched and kicked out at him and he reacted.

He claimed he punched her “two, three or four times” to the head and then realised she was injured and left the caravan to get help as he could not find his mobile phone to call the emergency services.

Highton added: “I can’t believe this has happened. I love her very much.”

Mr Harbage told the jury: “This was very much more than two, three or four punches. It cannot possibly have been in self defence.”

Andrew Highton, 51, of Highbury Road,Nottingham, denies murder and an alternative charge of manslaughter on May 29 this year.

The trial continues.