Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner. Facebook Messenger An icon of the facebook messenger app logo. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Facebook Messenger An icon of the Twitter app logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. WhatsApp Messenger An icon of the Whatsapp messenger app logo. Email An icon of an mail envelope. Copy link A decentered black square over a white square.

Lizanec murder trial — daughter tells court of ‘abusive’ father’s control over ‘murdered’ mum

Ebony Lizanec told the murder trial of the plan she hatched with her mother to get her away from her 'toxic' relationship with murder accused John Lizanec.

Michelle Lizanec
Michelle Lizanec was allegedly murdered at her former home in Inchture, near Perth.

A daughter has told how her murder-accused father controlled, manipulated and repeatedly threatened to kill her mother throughout their “toxic” relationship.

Ebony Lizanec said she made a secret plan with her mum Michelle to move her into a new house at Scone, away from “abusive” husband John.

She said her mother was happy and “excited about starting her new life” after finally leaving the marital home at Inchture.

Just weeks later, police found her body in the bathroom of the Carse of Gowrie property.

John Lizanec, 49, is on trial at the High Court in Edinburgh accused of murdering his wife at his home in Inchture on February 13 2021 and hiding her body in a cupboard.

He denies the allegations.

Michelle Lizanec
Michelle Lizanec was allegedly murdered at her former home in Inchture.

The trial heard former fashion student Ebony, 27, told police: “He (her father) would say if she ever left him for another man or cheated on him, he would slit the other guy’s throat while she watched and then kill her.

“He said this numerous times.

“It was something that had been on my mind since I was a little girl.

“It made me afraid about them being alone.”

Daughter’s evidence

Asked by advocate depute Shanti Maguire if she still called her father “dad”, Miss Lizanec replied: “Not any more – I would refer to him as the accused now.”

She described the atmosphere at the family home as “extremely toxic.”

Miss Lizanec said her father was “extremely abusive.”

She told the court: “He would isolate her (Michelle) so she didn’t have any friends.

“The only times she left the house was to walk the dogs but even then he was watching her from the window.

“She wasn’t allowed to be on her own. She wasn’t allowed to dress the way she wanted to dress.”

Her mum, she said, was not allowed to show skin and had to wear black.

‘Secret’ conversations

Miss Lizanec said her dad “chucked her out” after she stood up to him when she was 15.

She told the court her mum set up two “secret” email addresses to keep in contact with her, as well as a family Snapchat account that automatically deleted messages once they were posted.

Miss Lizanec went to Glasgow University to study fashion design but returned to live with her parents after she was badly injured in a car crash.

Snapchat logo
The family had a secret Snapchat account to ensure messages would not be seen. Image: Shutterstock.

When they moved to Inchture, the atmosphere continued to be toxic, she said.

She told the jury Lizanec told her mum if she ever left her, he would “come after her and kill her” and kill any new partner she had.

Police called after threats

The court heard she called police after her dad made threats to “kick f*** out” of her younger brother John.

When officers came to the door, she made a gesture to indicate her father was there.

”They knew instantly to create a story and lie as to why they were there,” she said.

“They said they were making inquiries about a car being vandalised.”

When the officers left, she said her father “kicked off” and became “paranoid” that someone had called police.

After that, she said she formed a plan with her mum to get her into a new house.

Orchard Way, Inchture
Police in Orchard Way, Inchture in February 2021. Image: DC Thomson.

They arranged to move to a new-build property at Scone but pretended it was for Ebony.

“I was to fall out with him two weeks prior,” she said.

“It was to ensure he wouldn’t come when my mum signed the papers for the new house – because it was actually for my mum, not me.”

Her mother was happy when she moved to Scone, she said.

“She was relieved and excited to start her new life.

”She was making plans about buying clothes and having days out shopping.

“I had never seen her so happy.”

John Lizanec went to stay with Ebony’s older sister Sophie at Elie, near St Andrews, the court heard.

Texts on final day

Miss Lizanec said the last time she saw her mother was at about 2pm on February 13 2021.

“She was going to my sister’s to do laundry because her washing machine was broken,” she said.

She texted her mum later, asking if she had left Sophie’s and received the return message at around 8pm: “Yeah soz, won’t be long.”

Her brother later got a text from his dad saying he and his mum were going to Dundee to get fuel.

Miss Lizanec said her sister told her mum and dad had both left her house at about 5.30pm.

She said: ”I was going crazy. I was just thinking of all the threats he had made towards her.

“I just thought he was capable of doing something bad.”

Urged police to break down door

The trial was played a recording of a call Miss Lizanec made to police.

She discussed with the operator reporting her mother missing, before asking police to go to the house at Inchture.

”They said they went round and the lights were on but no one answered the door.

“I thought it was extremely weird. I asked them to go back and break down the door if they had to, because I knew something was wrong.

“And that’s what they did.

“They then went to my sister’s house and told her they had found mum dead lying on the bathroom floor.”

Orchard Way, Inchture
The police were urged to break down the door of the Orchard Way property. Image: DC Thomson.

During cross-examination, solicitor advocate Iain Paterson asked Miss Lizanec if her father had shown love for her mother.

She replied: “I wouldn’t call it love, I would call it an obsession.”

She added: “I didn’t hate my dad. I wanted him to be the dad I remembered from when I was younger but he doesn’t exist any more.”

Jurors were later shown “graphic and distressing” photographs during a post mortem examination of Ms Lizanec.

Pathologist Helen Brownlow, a senior lecturer in forensic medicine at Dundee University, told the court Ms Lizanec died from a deep 16cm incision that ran “from ear to ear, effectively.”

Dr Brownlow, 44, said the mother-of-three would have suffered “catastrophic” blood loss, but would have taken perhaps half a minute to lose consciousness.

Allegations denied

Lizanec denies all charges, including assault and murder.

Prosecutors claim he struck Mrs Lizanec on the neck with a knife, having previously shown “malice and ill-will” towards her.

It is further alleged that he hid her body inside a cupboard, cleaned blood off himself, changed his clothes and footwear and fled the scene.

He is accused of then barricading himself inside his mother Francis Flood’s home at Balunie Street, Dundee.

Police at Balunie Street, Dundee. Image: DCT Media

Lizanec faces a charge of behaving in a threatening or abusive way by refusing to leave the property, arming himself with a knife and repeatedly holding it to his neck while threatening to kill himself and self harm in the presence of police and his 68-year-old mother.

He further faces allegations of engaging in an abusive course of behaviour against his wife between April 1 2019 and February 13 2021 at their then homes in Chaise Road, Bridge of Earn, and Orchard Way, Inchture.

Prosecutors accuse him of restricting her access to rooms within the home, dictating her choice of clothing, isolating her from her friends and family and making threats of violence towards her family.

It is alleged he made threats to kill himself, threats to kill any of his wife’s future partners and threats to harm her pet dogs.

Edinburgh High Court
The trial is ongoing at the High Court in Edinburgh.

He is further accused of restricting her movements outside their home and monitoring her personal calls, messages and emails.

It is alleged he recorded her conversations, accused her of infidelity and threatened to kill her.

The trial before Lord Fairley continues.

For more local court content visit our dedicated page or join us on Facebook.