Burnley man jailed for murdering mother-of-two Katie Kenyon with axe
Andrew Burfield, 51, from Burnley, has been given a life sentence for murdering 33-year-old Katie Kenyon in April this year.
Katie, mother of two, had been in an on-and-off relationship with Burfield since July 2016.
In April 2022 Katie's family became suspicious that some of the messages they received from Katie did not sound like her.
They were concerned that they had not seen her and reported her as a missing person. They suspected Burfield of being involved in her disappearance.
On 23 April 2022 Burfield was arrested for kidnapping Katie, but he claimed he had no involvement in her disappearance.
Lancashire police launched a public appeal to find Katie. Tragically, after seven days of searching, Katie's body was found on 29 April in Gisburn Forest in the Ribble Valley.
The prosecution case was that Burfield planned and executed the murder. On 21 April 2022 he went to Gisburn Forest to prepare a grave for her.
The following day he took Katie to the forest and killed her by striking her to the head at least 12 times with an axe before placing her in the makeshift grave he had created.
After he killed her, he tried to cover his tracks by sending messages from her phone to her family and even sent one to himself.
The police recovered an axe and a spade from Burfield's cellar and forensics tests confirmed that Katie's blood was on the axe.
Burfield maintained his innocence throughout the investigation, leading up to the trial and even after the trial had started. But on day three of the trial, after seeing the strength of the evidence against him, he changed his plea to guilty.
Today he has been jailed for a minimum of 32 years.
Tom Snape, Senior Crown Prosecutor for CPS North West, said: "Andrew Burfield has today been jailed for life for carrying out a pre-meditated, brutal attack on Katie Kenyon. He buried her in a shallow grave and went to great lengths to try to cover his tracks.
"The CPS worked closely with Lancashire police to build a strong case including CCTV footage, forensic evidence, and telephone data. Despite his denials, having seen the strength of the case against him, he changed his plea to guilty after the trial had started.
"Nothing can make up for the loss of Katie. My thoughts are very much with her family and friends at this time."