Boy, 16, 'killed teacher in woods and dragged her naked body through streets in wheelie bin and buried in shallow grave'

A 16-YEAR-OLD boy murdered a teaching assistant and dragged her naked body through the streets in a wheelie bin before burying her in a shallow grave, a court heard today.

Lindsay Birbeck, 47, is said to have been killed in woodland near her home in Accrington, Lancs, after being followed by the teen.

Jurors today heard the teen went to “exceptional lengths” to move her body and buried her in a makeshift shallow grave in Accrington Cemetery.

Cops eventually found the body of mum-of-two Mrs Birbeck 12 days after her concerned family raised the alarm when the keep-fit enthusiast didn’t return home on August 12.

Preston Crown Court heard her naked body was wrapped in two clear plastic bags.


Opening the case on Wednesday at Preston Crown Court, David McLachlan QC said: "The young man who went to exceptional lengths to move her body and also did a very good job of hiding her body in a shallow grave in the cemetery.

"He did such a good job that the police or public, notwithstanding the efforts they went to, did not find her body until 12 days after she had gone missing."

The prosecutor said the defendant, now aged 17, pulled a blue wheelie bin for more than four hours after Mrs Birbeck went missing, and used it to conceal her body.

Five days later the youth, who cannot be named for legal reasons, retrieved the bin from and moved it to the cemetery, the court heard.

The young man who went to exceptional lengths to move her body and also did a very good job of hiding her body in a shallow grave in the cemetery

On the early evening of August 24 a dog walker rang police after he said he spotted a plastic cover and what appeared to be a leg in woodland at the cemetery.

Mrs Birbeck was identified through dental records and a post-mortem examination concluded the cause of death was neck injuries.

Severe compressive force appeared to have been used which could have been done in several ways including through stamping or kicking – or kneeling on the front of the neck.

On August 27 a CCTV still of a male pulling a blue wheelie bin was issued to the media and later that day the defendant attended a police station with family members.


In a prepared statement he admitted moving the bin and burying the body but said he was not involved in Mrs Birbeck's death.

He said he was walking alone in the area when he was approached by a stranger who promised him "a lot of money" if he disposed of a body.

He stated: "He showed me where the body was and he went away straightaway leaving me to 'get rid of the body'.

"I have not met this man before. I have not met him since, nor have I had any contact with him. He has not paid me any money.

"He told me that he would leave the money for me near where the body had been at first once everything was clear.

"I cannot describe the man other than to say he was white, male, spoke English.

"I could not see his face well as he was covering it with his hood. I am not sure of his height, build or age."

The youth, who has autism and ADHD, denies murder.

The trial continues.

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