Lyndsey Vaux murder trial: Star prosecution witness takes the stand
The star prosecution witness in the murder trial of single mum Lyndsey Vaux has taken the stand to tell a tale of severe abuse at the hands of her ex-lover and her lover's mum.
On day two of the trial, in which Becky and Gillian Reid, 32 and 57, both face one charge of murder and one charge of grievous bodily harm with intent, the prosecution called Becky Reid’s ex-partner Samantha Newns to testify.
Crown Prosecutor, Paul Reid, began the day by finishing his opening statement to the jury in which he described forensic evidence of blood splatter on the ceiling and walls within the house in which Lyndsey died.
Mr Reid explained that a bloody palm print matching Lyndsey’s had been found on the staircase wall.
Before calling Ms Newns to the stand, he told the court that spots of blood were found on the kitchen ceiling as well as the walls of the front bedroom, the landing and bathroom. All are believed to have been transferred by “force”, causing the blood to “generate airborne spots”.
Once on the stand, Ms Newns told the jury she met Reid on a lesbian chat site through her mobile network. The two quickly entered into a relationship, which Ms Newns described as “brilliant” to begin with.
The former Gala Bingo employee told how things had gone down hill after the pair had been together for around two years, just as she acquired her own flat in Salford.
Ms Newns, who was 24 at the time she began dating Reid, explained that she did not want to continue the relationship a few months in but stayed with her regardless out of guilt.
Shortly after this, Becky Reid moved into the Salford flat with her dog, Tia, despite Ms Newns telling her that she was not allowed pets and repeatedly facing complaints about her partner’s pet.
“She just didn’t listen to me,” Ms Newns told a Manchester Crown Court jury. “I kept telling her I wasn’t allowed pets. She didn’t have a care in the world.”
After being in the flat for a number of months, the violence allegedly began.
Ms Newns said how Reid, in the first violent outburst towards her, pushed her face into a pool of dog urine and kicked her in the arms, legs and ribs.
“I didn’t fight back,” she added. “I was frightened. If I had hit her back I would have knocked her out, but when you love somebody you’re not supposed to hit them. That’s how I have been brought up.”
From this point onwards the relationship slowly deteriorated as Ms Newns refused to have sex with Reid, leading to more arguements. Controlling Becky
Reid would allegedly tell Ms Newns that the hours she was working at Gala were “too much”, leaving her feeling she had no choice but to quit her job.
As the couple struggled for money to fuel alcohol and cannabis habits, the assaults on Ms Newns reportedly escalated and on the stand she said that around 50 “beatings” in total occured before the relationship finally ended in June 2008 - the day of the final assault for which the mother and daughter face charges.
Ms Newns explained how Becky Reid once dangled her backwards out of her second storey flat window, and on another occasion attempted to carve her breast with a screwdriver, leaving her victim with a permanent scar.
She bravely described how Reid would kick her in the ribs and face on repeated occasions and how, on June 20 2008, she beat her over the head with a “thick glass jar”.
Becky Reid, who was unemployed throughout her relationship with Ms Newns, was said to “foam at the mouth like a dog” during her violent episodes, leading her victim not just to fear, but also to pity her.
The severe beatings, she said, were often witnessed by Becky Reid’s mum Gillian - also accused, who once stood up for Ms Newns but often just “stood and watched”. Ms Newns went into detail on the beating in which she alleged Gillian Reid stood on her throat as her daughter attacked her with the jar.
The final assault occured at the bungalow in Stanley Place in Wigan where Becky, Ms Newns, Gillian and Gillian’s mum “nana Alice” moved in 2008, after the couple enjoyed a brief stint living with Becky Reid’s dad on Hambleton Street. For a brief period, the violence ceased as Reid was given money for food, clothes and anything else she needed.
Once they moved out, the beatings allegedly resumed, with greater intensity.
“It was the worst beating of the whole thing”, she said. “Her mum punched me right in the mouth causing the loss of one tooth and a scar where my tooth came through my lip”.
Ms Newns showed the gap of her missing tooth to the jury, before continuing. “That was the final straw”, she said. “She busted my nose. It bled a lot. It felt like it was broken. She hit me that hard I felt like I had a golf ball coming out of my eye.”
Following the attack, Ms Newns was taken to hospital by Felicity Reid, Becky’s sister, who then took her to stay with her sister Lyndsey Cosgrove in Stockport. She never returned to the Reid household.
When asked why she did not report Reid and her mother to the police sooner Ms Newns replied: “I was scared. I want to help get justice for what she’s done to me and to poor Lyndsey. You can’t take someone’s life and get away with it.”
The trial continues.