Jealous boyfriend tells of death struggle

A MAN told a court yesterday how he squeezed the life out of his teenage lover convinced – despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary – that she was unfaithful.

Melonie Parkin was stalked by her boyfriend Lee Yarrow who kept a log of her movements determined to find conclusive evidence that she was sleeping with another man behind his back.

Anxious to demonstrate her fidelity, she handed over bus tickets to confirm her journeys to work, let Yarrow check her mobile phone and even submitted to intimate inspections to prove she had not had sex recently.

But Yarrow could not shake the irrational belief she was cheating on him, and utterly rejected even a doctor's opinion that the 17-year-old trainee hairdresser did not have a sexually transmitted disease.

Yesterday a court in Sheffield heard that on March 21 he confronted Miss Parkin, of Middlecliffe Drive, at Crow Edge near Penistone, after the pair had driven to a remote Barnsley beauty spot.

Yarrow, who denies murder, urged her to admit that she was lying, and throttled her as she tried to get away, ignoring her pleas to talk about the situation.

"I turned Mel around and grabbed her by the neck. She was facing me, then I started to squeeze her neck," the 22-year-old told the jury.

"I wanted to hurt her. She tripped on the grass. I rolled her onto her back and straddled her.

"I grabbed her around the neck and started squeezing her. She started to cough and splutter and I let go.

"Then she said 'Lee, we can talk, we can talk'.

"Then I grabbed her for the third time and I didn't let go, because I knew she wouldn't talk. She would have said anything I wanted to hear, because of the situation."

With his voice breaking slightly, Yarrow added: "When I had released (her), there was no movement. I was telling her that I loved her and 'sorry baby'."

Before he left Miss Parkin on the field, Yarrow said he carefully arranged her body "to give her some dignity".

"I left my ring on her wedding finger, because that's what I thought about the way that I loved her."

The court had earlier heard that Yarrow had been similarly convinced that a previous girlfriend had been unfaithful.

Yarrow, of Allendale Road, Honeywell, Barnsley, had problems coping with anxiety and depression, and had been taking anti-depressants for three years.

A week before Miss Parkin's death, after an argument with her, Yarrow wrote a letter to his mother, and then tried to overdose on paracetamol and vodka at the same spot where his girlfriend was to die. His bid was unsuccessful, and he was referred to community psychiatric nurse Helen Totty.

She told the court that Yarrow expressed feelings of being unable to trust anyone and also mentioned his belief that his girlfriend was seeing someone else. She said that he did not display any psychotic behaviour or dillusional beliefs during his appointment.

The trial continues.

lyn.barton@ypn.co.uk