A Perthshire woman allegedly murdered by her husband made a series of secret recordings of him in the months leading up to her death, a court has heard.
The audio tapes were played to jurors at the murder trial of John Lizanec who is accused of killing wife Michelle at their marital home in Inchture.
It is alleged he then hid her body in a cupboard before fleeing to his mother’s house in Dundee.
The recordings, which were sent by Mrs Lizanec to her eldest daughter Sophie, featured her husband repeatedly uttering expletives and insults.
At one point he appears to question whether his wife is using a recorder and states: “See if I find out you’ve hit record on that f***ing thing, I’ll shove it down your f***ing throat.”
Secret recordings of abuse
Sales assistant Sophie Lizanec, 28, told the trial how she used to “walk on eggshells” for “fear of verbal attacks” from her father.
She said: “It was nasty, name-calling, it was belittling.”
She said Lizanec called her mum a “psycho” and a “f***ing bitch.”
Miss Lizanec moved out at age 19 but occasionally visited her parents at their home in Orchard Way, Inchture.
Asked how the atmosphere was, she said: “You could cut it with a knife – it was horrible.
“There was no comfort that you should feel in a family home.”
She said Lizanec was constantly badgering and questioning her mother.
“Mum was making recordings to prove what was going on behind closed doors,” she said.
The recordings were made between April 2020 and January 2021, when Mrs Lizanec left the marital home and moved to Scone with son John and other daughter Ebony.
Jurors heard recordings of Lizanec saying, among other things, “evil f***ing bitch,” and “go f*** yourself” and “big waste of f***ing space,” while his wife repeatedly responds “okay.”
Miss Lizanec said shortly after her mother left, her father moved in with her at her home in Elie, near St Andrews.
She said: “He was calling me and threatening to commit suicide because mum had left.
“I decided to let him come and stay with me.”
She added: “I was apprehensive about the way he was portraying to feel but I wanted to help.”
Lizanec took with him a camp bed and duvet, a canvas picture of himself and his wife and a collection of family photos.
“I think he would have stayed permanently,” Miss Lizanec told advocate depute Shanti Maguire.
”He said he didn’t want to stay in the house (at Inchture) because his demons were in that home.
“I thought it was a strange thing to say, especially to your daughter.”
She told the court: “One minute he would be crying and pleading for help to get mum back and the next he was happy.
“He said it was all Ebony’s fault.”
She said she was concerned by a picture her father drew.
“It’s a picture of him looking into a mirror – but there’s a devil and flames.
“He said the devil was Ebony.
“I was a bit concerned that this was how he viewed one of his children.”
Final day shopping trip
The court heard Mrs Lizanec drove to her daughter’s home in Elie on the afternoon of February 13 2021 to drop off laundry.
She then took her daughter and husband shopping.
Miss Lizanec wept as CCTV showing the three of them at B&M in Leven was played on court monitors.
She said her father appeared to be “pleading” with her mum.
“I remember him saying ‘please,’ and her saying ‘no.’”
The drive home, via McDonald’s, was “awkward,” she said.
“He was so quiet – it was mainly me and mum chatting.”
Her parents left her at home, before driving back to Inchture.
She said her mum appeared to be “on edge,” but her father was “upbeat, completely different to earlier that day.”
She later received a text from her mother, stating: “He’s not going to be okay by the way. Been really bad on the way back.”
Miss Lizanec replied “how?” but got no response.
At about 4am, two police officers arrived at her door to inform her her mother had been found dead at the house in Inchture.
Miss Lizanec also told the court that on February 11 or 12, her father had asked her how to turn off location tracking services on his phone.
“I thought it was strange,” she said.
“It came out of the blue but I never thought anything of it.”
Prosecutors claim he struck Mrs Lizanec on the neck with a knife, having previously shown “malice and ill-will” towards her, on February 13 2021.
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.
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.
The trial before Lord Fairley continues.