Friends’ Moroccan holiday fall-out led to murder, court hears

Linda Rainey (inset) died after falling down the stairs in South Market Road, Great Yarmouth P

Linda Rainey (inset) died after falling down the stairs in South Market Road, Great Yarmouth Picture: Jamie Honeywood/Norfolk Police - Credit: Jamie Honeywood/Norfolk Police

A woman pushed her friend down a flight of stairs leaving her with fatal head injuries after they fell out over a planned holiday to Morocco, a court heard.

Rosalind Gray, 55, and Linda Rainey, 60, planned a luxury trip together to Marrakech but relations soured after Gray mixed-up the flights, which meant the holiday was cancelled and Ms Rainey was £200 out of pocket.

Andrew Jackson, prosecuting at Norwich Crown Court, said that a few days before the incident the pair exchanged messages in which Ms Rainey asked for her cash back and Gray called her a "nasty old troll".

Mr Jackson said the two women argued on August 5 when they unexpectedly met at the flat of Adrian Lawrence, 53, on South Market Road, Great Yarmouth.

He said that during an argument Gray pushed Ms Rainey in anger, causing her to fall down the flight of stairs and suffer serious head injuries.

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She was taken to Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge, but died two days later after her life support was turned off.

Mr Jackson said: "Rosalind Gray pushed a woman down a steep flight of stairs and killed her and almost immediately Gray along with Lawrence set about trying to hide what had actually happened. They set about trying to silence a witness that had seen what had happened and it was not until a few days later that police became involved."

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Mr Jackson said that the witness, who was put under pressure not to come forward, was Emma Walker, but she finally did contact police about the matter on August 10, saying she could not keep it to herself any longer.

He said that Gray and Lawrence were arrested and Gray claimed Ms Rainey had fallen down the stairs by accident while Lawrence said he had heard a thud and assumed that Ms Rainey had lost her footing going downstairs.

Gray, of Marlborough Square, Great Yarmouth, has denied the murder of Ms Rainey. Gray and Lawrence both deny conspiracy to pervert the course of justice between August 5 and August 12.

Mr Jackson told the jury that Gray pushed Ms Rainey down the stairs in anger, adding that it would have been classed as a tragic accident. If undetected, he said it would have been a "perfect" murder.

He added that if it was an accident then there was no need for anyone to lie.

Mr Jackson said: "If you push someone while they are standing at the top of a flight of stairs you intend to cause them really serious harm because they are plainly going to fall down the stairs and you all know that falling down stairs causes serious injury or death."

The trial continues.

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