Cassie Hayes: Man admits murdering travel agent

Laura Williams and Cassie HayesImage copyright
Police handout

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Laura Williams said Cassie Hayes (right) was “my future wife and my forever”

A man has admitted murdering his ex-girlfriend’s new partner by cutting her throat at her workplace.

Travel agent Cassie Hayes, 28, was attacked at the Tui store in Southport town centre on 13 January.

Andrew Burke, 30, of St Helens, had been convicted the day before of harassing his ex-partner Laura Williams, who was in a relationship with Ms Hayes.

Liverpool Crown Court heard Ms Hayes’s death was “an execution”.

Burke pleaded guilty to murder and a charge of having an offensive weapon, namely a knife, in a public place.

Gordon Cole QC said the murder of Ms Hayes, who was originally from Alnwick, Northumberland, was a pre-meditated and planned attack carried out in a “totally ruthless way”.

“It was essentially an execution of a young woman in her place of work,” he added.

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Cassie Hayes’s mother Tracy Hayes (centre) was at court with her other daughter Nadine (second from right)

The court heard Burke was the ex-partner of Ms Williams, 29, who had been in a relationship with Ms Hayes since the break-up.

Mr Cole said that the break-up between Ms Williams and the defendant had caused problems.

Burke had been charged with harassing Ms Williams on 13 November and was bailed ahead of sentencing after being convicted of the offence on 12 January.

He was also the subject of an allegation of harassment against Ms Hayes from May and was issued with a police information notice warning him regarding any future contact.

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Peter Byrne

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Cassie Hayes was the assistant manager at the Tui branch in Southport

Burke was also charged with making malicious communications in January when his mother Lousie McConnell made a statement to police about remarks he had made to her over the phone when he repeatedly threatened to kill himself or Ms Hayes because he held her responsible for the end of his relationship.

Burke pleaded guilty to that offence and received a fine and an unpaid work requirement.

A post-mortem examination found Ms Hayes died of shock and haemorrhaging due to a wound to the throat.

Paying tribute to Ms Hayes previously, Ms Williams described her as “my future wife and my forever”.

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