THE judge in the case of a man accused of killing his girlfriend by pushing her from a multi-storey car park has told the jury they must decide whether he intended to harm her.

The jury in the trial of Shaun Foley, 45, from Torquay, Devon, retired yesterday and is expected to reach a verdict today.

Teresa Parkin, 29, originally from Colburn, North Yorkshire, died after falling more than 80ft on June 10, last year.

Mr Foley denies murder and claims Ms Parkin committed suicide after becoming depressed about access to her tenyear- old son.

Judge Graham Cottle told the jury at Exeter Crown Court that if they believed Mr Foley had intended to harm Ms Parkin, they should find him guilty of murder.

The judge also gave them an option of manslaughter if they felt Mr Foley had convinced them he did not intend to harm Ms Parkin, but that he was still responsible for her death.

Ms Parkin died after spending the afternoon drinking with Mr Foley until she became upset while talking about her son. CCTV cameras at the car park later showed the pair arguing and Mr Foley hitting Ms Parkin in the face. The final moment when Ms Parkin went over the railings was not captured.

In police interviews, Mr Foley claimed there was no argument and that he could give no explanation for how Ms Parkin came to fall from the building. He later changed his story after being confronted with CCTV evidence.

Judge Cottle said: “If he did lie, and there was no innocent explanation, you would be entitled to ask why, if he had just witnessed an appalling tragedy, it was necessary to lie.”

The trial continues.