Kerri McAuley death: Joe Storey had 'history of violence'

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image captionKerri McAuley had 19 separate injuries to her head and face

A man accused of bludgeoning his "on-off" partner to death headbutted her in the street more than a year before she died, a court has heard.

Joe Storey, 27, is accused of murdering Kerri McAuley, 32, who was found dead at Southalls Way, Norwich on 8 January.

Norwich Crown Court heard friends describe a history of domestic violence which left Ms McAuley "disfigured" and fearing for her life.

Storey, of Murrells Court, Norwich denies murder but admits manslaughter.

Ms McAuley's friend Gemma Richards told jurors she saw Storey headbutt his partner after a night out in October 2015.

Ms Richards, and statements from other friends read to the court, also described several occasions where they had seen Ms McAuley with facial injuries.

image captionThe body of the mother-of-two was found in a flat in Southalls Way on 8 January

The jury was told the pair liked drinking, but that Storey's personality would change and he would become aggressive.

Ms McAuley told her friends he used to beat her with his mobile phone and she feared for her life, the court heard.

Earlier, prosecutor Simon Spence told the court Storey and Ms McAuley had an "on-off relationship".

Calls and texts between the couple from May 2016 to January showed she was trying to stay away from him but he had persuaded her to come back, the prosecution said.

A pathologist's report documented 19 separate injuries to her head and face including fractures to her eye sockets.

Her nose was broken so badly the bones were protruding through her skin, the court heard.

The trial continues.

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