Man jailed for 26 years for murder of ex-girlfriend's partner in travel agents

Man jailed for 26 years for murder of ex-girlfriend's partner in travel agents

Cassie Hayes was attacked at a Tui branch in Southport (Stock image)

Monday, April 9, 2018

A man who carried out the "cold-blooded execution" of a travel agent after she began a relationship with his ex-girlfriend has been jailed for a minimum of 26 years.

Andrew Burke slit the throat of Cassie Hayes in front of horrified staff and shoppers at the Southport branch of Tui where she worked.

The 31-year-old committed the "act of unspeakable savagery" a day after he had been convicted of harassing his former partner, Laura Williams.

Burke had also been harassing Hayes for months after she started dating his former partner, blaming her for the end of his relationship.

Police were aware of his campaign against Hayes and in May last year he was issued with a police information notice warning him over any future contact.

But Burke ignored the warning and went to the Tui branch on a busy Saturday afternoon to attack Hayes with a knife, who had been serving a family.

Two air ambulances were sent to the scene but the woman died later in hospital. The causes of death were shock and haemorrhaging as a result of the wound.

Burke admitted murder when he appeared at Liverpool Crown Court today (April 9) for a plea hearing. He also pleaded guilty to having an offensive weapon in a public place.

Burke was charged with harassing Williams on November 13 last year and was convicted of the offence on January 12, when he appeared at Sefton Magistrates' Court. He was bailed ahead of sentencing.

Burke was also charged with making malicious communications in January 2017 when his mother, Louise McConnell, made a statement to police about remarks he had made to her threatening to kill himself or Hayes because he held her responsible for the end of his relationship.

Burke pleaded guilty to that offence and received a fine and an unpaid work requirement.

Sentencing him today (April 9), Judge David Aubrey said: "You perpetrated a cold-blooded execution in public for the purpose of revenge and in my judgment the killing was an act of unspeakable savagery.

"This was a cowardly act of revenge designed to kill and did kill a totally innocent person in broad daylight in front of, and witnessed by, so many."