A Perthshire mother allegedly murdered by her husband was found “jammed” into the bottom of an airing cupboard, a trial has heard.
The body of Michelle Lizanec was discovered by police after they forced entry to her former marital home in Orchard Way, Inchture.
Retired sergeant Paul McDade told a jury at the High Court in Edinburgh how officers used a metal battering ram to get inside the property in the early hours of February 14 2021.
“I went down the hallway and into a small bathroom,” he said.
“Inside, there was an airing cupboard.”
Mr McDade, 53, said he opened the cupboard and saw Mrs Lizanec’s body underneath a bottom shelf.
He said her knees were pulled up to her chest and her head was forward.
“She was basically jammed into the bottom of the cupboard,” he said.
“I felt the side of her neck and detected warmth, so I advised a colleague to fetch our advanced first aid kit.”
Mr McDade then pulled the body out of the 3ft by 2ft cupboard.
“Unfortunately, it was obvious that she was dead.
“She was drenched in blood and had a wound to her neck/throat area.”
Michelle’s husband John Lizanec is on trial accused of murder and attempting to defeat the ends of justice.
He denies all charges.
The jury was shown CCTV footage collected by police.
Detective Constable David Budd said Mrs Lizanec’s “distinctive” black and white Ford Ecosport was caught on camera driving across the Tay Road Bridge at 6.42pm on February 13.
It had earlier left daughter Sophie Lizanec’s home in Elie, near St Andrews.
The vehicle is seen pulling into the forecourt at Tesco, Riverside Drive, Dundee.
DC Budd, 44, said both Mrs Lizanec and her husband could be seen in the front of the car, gesturing with their hands.
After filling up, Lizanec is seen in the passenger seat putting his head in his hands and leaning forward.
Mrs Lizanec next drives into the supermarket car park.
The couple go into Tesco to buy items at the self-serve check-out.
When Lizanec walks away briefly, his wife uses her mobile phone, possibly to send a text, said DC Budd.
The footage shows the car parking outside Lizanec’s home at Inchture at around 8.18pm.
It then leaves Inchture just after 10pm.
The car is then caught on camera driving to Asda at Milton of Craigie Road.
Lizanec goes into the supermarket alone.
DC Budd said when he appears on in-store CCTV, the accused is wearing a completely different outfit – including trainers – than when he was seen at B&M, Leven, with his wife and Sophie earlier that afternoon.
Lizanec buys cigarettes and a lighter and appears to leave the store.
He then turns back and buys an £8 belt, which he appears to put on in the store.
A private CCTV camera later picks up Mrs Lizanec’s car arriving at Balunie Road, Dundee.
Prosecutors accuse Lizanec of murdering his wife by striking her on the neck with a knife, having previously shown “malice and ill-will” towards her, on February 13 2021.
It is further alleged 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.