Killed Kent wife Anne-Marie Birch 'had multiple fractures'

Anne-Marie Birch Anne-Marie Birch suffered multiple fractures, Maidstone Crown Court heard

Related Stories

A woman who was killed by her estranged husband had been strangled and suffered multiple fractures to her face, Maidstone Crown Court has heard.

Lee Birch, 55, of Lymington Road, Westgate-on-Sea, has pleaded guilty to manslaughter but denies murder.

Pathologist Dr Simon Poole said Anne-Marie Birch had been strangled with a rope looped at least four times and tied with a knot.

Mrs Birch, 45, died in Broadstairs on 7 November.

The court heard the couple had been married for 17 years but last summer Mrs Birch told her husband their marriage was over.

'Severe force necessary'

Giving evidence, Dr Poole was asked how many times the rope had been looped.

"At least four times," he said. "It had then been secured tightly with a knot. When I touched her face there were multiple fractures and her nose was broken."

Prosecuting, John O'Higgins QC asked what level of force had been used.

Dr Poole replied: "Considering the fractures to the skull and face, I suggest a severe degree of force would have been necessary."

Jurors also heard that Mrs Birch had been stalked and harassed by her husband in the weeks before she died.

The court was told Birch had ignored two court orders to keep away from her and told police that it did not matter how many court orders were in place because he would break them.

The trial continues.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC Kent

Weather

Canterbury

20 °C 14 °C

Features

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.