A married couple who both met while working for Greater Manchester Police were in such financial dire straits that it led to murder, a court has been told.

The body of Leanne McKie 39, was found in a shallow lake near the Cheshire home she shared with her husband, Darren, 43.

In 2012, she found he had run up a £20,000 credit card debt and they were struggling with active loans and the mortgage on their home.

Chester Crown Court heard how the couple had run up debts of £103,000, not including their mortgage and had made applications for 26 loans.

In total the couple owed a total of £103,000 not including their mortgage, with 26 loan applications having been made.

Leanne challenged her husband about a £54,000 loan application he had made.

In a text message she wrote: "You liar! Just got back a loan application with my passport and my name...I asked you and you promised. Fluent finance? Who are they? Are we in such a mess? Why again? The kids need clothes and shoes, what's going on."

His reply was: "I'm coming home." She died later that day and was found at a lake in Poynton Park on 29 September 2017.

Nigel Power QC told the court: "In short they were living well beyond their means and were under considerable financial pressure, and although that could not be described as a new position, the intensity was something that you may say was considerable."

"Now families often run into debt together because of extravagant spending. Often the husband and wife are in it together, and together they work their way out of it," the Manchester Evening News reported.

The jurors are told by one family friend, Helen Baglin, that they appeared to have a "brilliant relationship, and came across as a perfect united family... they were a lovely genuine couple who seemed to have an amazing relationship."

The jury was told another friend, Sarah James, said of the couple: "It seemed to me that they had the perfect family."

Darren McKie denies murder. The trial continues.