A court heard the father of an alleged murder victim had a “quick temper” and was known to be violent and may have blamed his daughter for his wife’s death.
Preston Crown Court heard evidence from Lorraine Reeky, the former partner of Frank Chivers, who died in August 2013, during the second day of the trial relating to the alleged murder of Paige Chivers.
The 15-year-old disappeared in August 2007 and, having not been seen since, is presumed dead.
Now Robert Ewing, 60, formerly of All Hallows Road, Bispham, stands accused of her murder, and doing an act intended to pervert the course of justice.
Co-accused Gareth Dewhurst, 45, of Duncan Avenue, Blackpool, is on trial for allegedly committing a serious sexual offence, assisting an offender and intending to pervert the course of justice.
Both deny the charges.
Ms Reeky, whose own children “grew up with” Paige, told the court Mr Chivers suffered terribly after his daughter’s disappearance.
She said: “He cracked up, which was understandable, his daughter had gone missing. He had a breakdown.”
Ms Reeky told the court the father “took his frustration out” on her, turning violent and even also assaulting her youngest daughter.
Defence barrister Stuart Denney, representing Ewing, suggested Ms Reeky had previously told a police officer that Mr Chivers had insinuated to her that he blamed Paige for his late wife’s death, after the pair had a “physical fight” in the weeks before her death.
Paige’s mother, Sheila, died in February 2007.
But Ms Reeky said: “Even if he did say that, it doesn’t mean it’s true.”