Murder accused John Lizanec told his mother “I’ve done a bad thing,” as armed police surrounded her Dundee home, his murder trial has heard.
Officers descended on Frances Flood’s bungalow in Balunie Street, hours after Lizanec’s wife Michelle was found dead inside an airing cupboard at their former marital home in Inchture.
Mrs Flood, 68, gave evidence on the fourth day of her son’s trial at the High Court in Edinburgh.
Lizanec, 49, is accused of murdering his wife on February 13 2021, before barricading himself at his mother’s address the following day.
He denies the allegations.
Jurors head Mrs Flood told police her son twice said he had hurt his wife.
He told her: “She’s dead, mum. She’s f***ing dead.”
‘Big breakfast’ as police descended
Mrs Flood said she went to bed early on Saturday, February 13 2021.
Between 10.30 and 10.45pm, she said she was woken by “chapping” on her back door.
“Because of the area I live in, I have a habit of shouting ‘friend or foe, good or bad?’” she told the trial.
When she saw it was her son, she invited him inside.
“He looked a bit white and I said: ‘You need a good feed’.”
She said he told her: “Oh, it’s terrible mum. Michelle’s hurt herself.”
“I didn’t want to pry too much,” Mrs Flood said.
The trial has previously heard how the accused and his wife and daughter had spent the day together.
Mrs Flood made her son a bed for the night and went to sleep until 8.30 to 9am.
“I went to the kitchen and opened the blinds.
“I looked out and said ‘something must be happening,’ because there were police everywhere.
“I said to John there must have been something going on in the street.
“He said: ‘This is to do with me, they’re here for me.’
“I thought God, it looks awfully funny having armed officers all around my home.”
Asked by advocate depute Shanti Maguire what happened next, Mrs Flood said: “I made a big breakfast for John and he ate it.”
‘Piggy in the middle’
Mrs Flood said her son later paced the floor while holding a knife, as a police officer spoke to them through the letter box.
She said she was “piggy in the middle,” and repeatedly asked the police if Mrs Lizanec was okay, on behalf of her son.
Some time later, a senior officer told her that Mrs Lizanec had died.
“My world just fell apart.
“I loved Michelle like she was one of mine. We had some good laughs.”
‘I’ve done a bad thing’
The court heard Mrs Flood gave a statement to police after her son was arrested.
She told them: “John sat in the living room with his head in his hands.
“He said: ‘I’ve done a bad thing.’
“He did not say what he had done and I did not ask him.”
Later in her statement, she said: “I asked him if he had hurt Michelle and he said ‘aye’.
“I asked him what he had done but he refused to tell me.”
She told police her son later said to her Mrs Lizanec was at home, “in the bathroom.”
He then told her: “She’s dead mum, she’s f***ing dead.
“That’s my life over with now, after 28 years.”
Mrs Flood confirmed what she told police in her statement had been the truth.
She denied her son had barricaded the front door with a sofa.
She said there was a couch in the hallway, waiting to be picked up by a buyer.
The court heard that after several hours, Lizanec told police through the letter box he was coming outside.
He went to the bathroom before stepping out of the front door, Mrs Flood said.
The trial was shown a photo of the bathroom with blood on the floor and in the sink, with a black-handled knife on top of a radiator.
Under cross-examination by defence solicitor advocate Iain Paterson, Mrs Flood said her son might not have told her Mrs Lizanec had hurt herself but she confirmed what she told police was true.
He is accused 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 that he hid her body inside a cupboard, cleaned blood off himself, changed his clothes and footwear and fled the scene.
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 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.