A detective in charge of examining footage from the time of Lindsay Birbeck’s disappearance told a jury ‘we don’t have CCTV cameras at every entrance’ to The Coppice, where she was allegedly killed.

Giving evidence at Preston Crown Court on day seven of the murder trial, Det Sgt Dave Bowler also explained how detectives came to the conclusion Mrs Birbeck had taken a route from Burnley Road along Peel Park Avenue towards a woodland area known as The Coppice, despite not having CCTV footage to prove this.

DS Bowler confirmed police scoured ‘many CCTV cameras’ in the Burnley Road area from 2pm on the day of her disappearance.

The last known sighting of Mrs Birbeck was just after 4pm on August 12. She was picked up on camera walking along Burnley Road past the Whitakers Arms towards Accrington town centre.

Cameras lose sight of her just before she reaches Peel Park Avenue, but CCTV from further down Burnley Road, and from other nearby cameras did not show her continuing on that route.

DS Bowler said: “CCTV footage from all other cameras was looked at, and CCTV from a bus in the area was also inspected and Lindsay Birbeck was not spotted on any of these cameras, so it was deduced she had turned down Peel Park Avenue from Burnley Road.”

Lindsay Birbeck’s body was discovered in a shallow grave in Accrington Cemetery on August 24, 12 days after her disappearance.

A 17-year-old boy is accused of murdering the Huncoat mother-of-two at The Coppice, before putting her body in a wheelie bin and moving it to the cemetery on the other side of Burnley Road.

The boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, denies murder, but admits hiding and moving Mrs Birbeck’s body.

The jury heard The Coppice can be accessed from several different points.

When asked if every access point was covered by CCTV, DS Bowler said: “No we don’t have CCTV at every entrance to The Coppice.”

The court also heard two cameras from addresses on Peel Park Avenue were not working on the day of Mrs Birbeck’s disappearance and another motion camera on the street didn’t pick up pedestrian movement and only ‘sometimes’ detected vehicle movement.

Defending, Mark Fenhalls asked DS Bowler: “You did your best to get what you could from Peel Park Avenue but it didn’t help you very much did it?”

DS Bowler said: “Yes I agree with that.”

The jury were also told between ‘80 and 100 vehicles’ were seen travelling along Peel Park Avenue between 4pm and 6pm on August 12 but it would have been difficult for police to say where all the vehicles were going, with not all of them heading to The Coppice.

Earlier on Thursday morning, the jury heard how the defendant was interviewed 11 times over three days and in one of his interviews produced a statement which said: “I did not murder Lindsay Birbeck. I was not involved in her death. I was not present at the time or place of her death.

“I did move a body from an area off Burnley Road, Accrington in a wheelie bin.

“At first I hid the body but later moved it again in a wheelie bin, taking it to the cemetery on Burnley Road where I buried it on my own.

“A man came up to me when I was walking alone in that area off Burnley Road and he asked me to “get rid of a body” for him.

“He said that he would pay me a lot of money when everything was clear.

“He showed me where the body was and he went away straightaway leaving me to ‘get rid of the body’.

“I have not met this man before. I have not met him since nor have I had any contact with him.

“He has not paid me any money. He told me that he would leave the money for me near where the body had been at first once everything was clear. I cannot describe the man other than to say he was white, spoke English. I could not see his face well as he was covering it with his hood. I am not sure of his height, build or age.”

The trial continues.