Man jailed after murdering travel agent in Southport

Andrew Burke, 30, who has pleaded guilty at Liverpool Crown Court for the murder of Ms Hayes, 28, at her workplace in Southport
Andrew Burke, 30, who has pleaded guilty at Liverpool Crown Court for the murder of Ms Hayes, 28, at her workplace in Southport
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A man has been jailed for a minimum of 26 years at Liverpool Crown Court after he murdered a travel agent at her workplace.

Andrew Burke, 31, attacked travel agent Cassie Hayes at a Tui branch in Southport after she began a relationship with his ex-girlfriend.

Cassie Hayes with her mum Tracy Hayes (right)

Cassie Hayes with her mum Tracy Hayes (right)

Cassie Hayes, 28, died in hospital from a wound to her throat inflicted on the afternoon of January 13 at the Tui branch in Southport town centre where she was employed as assistant manager.

Andrew Burke, 31, of Vincent Street, St Helens, pleaded guilty at Liverpool Crown Court to her murder and having an offensive weapon, namely a knife, in a public place.

The family of Ms Hayes were in attendance at the packed courtroom.

Gordon Cole QC, prosecuting, said the murder was a pre-meditated and planned attack carried out in a "totally ruthless way".

He said: "It was essentially an execution of a young woman in her place of work."

The court heard the defendant was the ex-partner of Laura Williams, 29, who had been in a relationship with Ms Hayes since the break-up.

Mr Cole said that the break-up between Ms Williams and the defendant had caused problems.

Burke was charged with harassing Laura Williams on November 13 last year and was convicted of the offence on January 12 where he appeared at Sefton Magistrates' Court and was bailed ahead of sentencing.

The defendant was also the subject of an allegation of harrassment against Ms Hayes in May 2017 and was issued with a police information notice warning him regarding any future contact.