The jury in the trial of father-of-two Stephen McKinney, who denies murdering his 35-year-old wife, Lu Na, during a holiday boating cruise on Lough Erne more than four years ago, has retired to consider its verdict in the case.

Lu Na McKinney’s body was recovered from the Co. Fermanagh lower lough by the western jetty at Devenish Island just hours after the couple and their two children had set off on a three-night Easter boating holiday in April, 2017.

Trial Judge Madam Justice McBride, while telling the Dungannon Crown Court jury of eight men and four women that it was their initial duty to reach a unanimous verdict of either guilty or not guilty, however urged them not to rush to judgement, and to “give this case your full and careful consideration”.

Following the 12-week trial that ran for more than 50 days, it is now for the jury to decide on whether Stephen McKinney did kill his wife, or that her death was indeed a tragic accident.

To this end, they will have to consider if he is guilty or not guilty of murder, or an alternative charge of manslaughter.

During the trial, the jury heard that Mr. McKinney told the police his wife, who'd taken a sleeping pill earlier, had fallen into the water after going on deck of the hire cruiser to check the mooring ropes.

He said he had gone into the water after her, grabbing her at first, but that she slipped from his grip and went underwater.

In final submissions, defence QC Martin O'Rourke told the jury that if there was a realistic possibility her death was an accident, the only proper verdict is not guilty.

However, Richard Weir QC, for the prosecution, described Mr. McKinney as “a controlling, manipulative, coercive man” who had grown tired of his wife.

He argued strands in the prosecution’s circumstantial but cogent case would lead the jury to conclude her death was "no tragic boating accident", and that Mr. McKinney killed her in what was a pre-planned, carefully thought-out murder.

More to follow...