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KILLER SENT 3-YEAR-OLD DAUGHTER TO FIND VICTIM.

Byline: ALISTAIR KEELY

A MUM used her little girl to try to cover up the fact she'd killed her lover with an axe, a court heard yesterday.

Jan Charlton allegedly sent three-year-old daughter Amy to find Danny O'Brien, 40, knowing he was already dead. The wealthy businessman was lying gagged and handcuffed in the bedroom of their luxury home with the axe in his head.

Jurors heard the tape of a 999 call to police which suggested Amy saw the death scene.

Charlton, 36, killed O'Brien then had a glass of wine and went out with Amy, it was claimed.

She returned later to meet her ex-husband Tony Charlton at the house in Midgely, near Halifax.

Tony, 33, who was picking up Amy, said she seemed "normal".

He added: "Janet said to Amy, go upstairs and say bye to Danny. Amy said no. Janet went inside holding her hand."

Tony told the court he then heard a scream and saw his ex banging on the window.

"He said: "She was hysterical. I ran in and picked up Amy. Janet pointed to the bedroom and said 'Danny's in there, there's blood everywhere'."

In the 999 call, made by Tony, Charlton can be heard screaming.

He told the operator O'Brien's brains were "on the floor".

Charlton denies murder. She said she killed O'Brien in self defence last May after he threatened her and her daughter.

The trial at Leeds continues.

'HIS BRAINS ARE ON THE FLOOR'

CHARLTON'S ex-husband Tony is heard explaining to the operator how he arrived at the house at 5pm to pick up Amy.

TONY: I don't know anything that's happened. I've not been upstairs yet." I heard screaming, I just ran in. I'm trying to keep them away and keep her calm.

OPERATOR: Are there any signs of breathing?

TONY: Is he breathing Janet? (To operator): She says his brains are on the floor. He's definitely gone. She didn't see properly because she pushed our daughter out of the way. She nearly saw it.

JANET (in background): It's an axe or something.

CAPTION(S):

DEAD: Dan O'Brien; ACCUSED: Charlton denies killing lover; EX: Tony Charlton
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Apr 20, 2002
Words:357
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