Cambridgeshire

Peterborough murder trial: Man 'killed wife using knives and hammers'

Ligita Kostiajeviene, Image copyright Cambridgeshire Police
Image caption Ligita Kostiajeviene died following an attack from her husband, a court heard

A man killed his wife in a "determined" attack at their home using knives and hammers, a court has heard.

Andriejus Kostiajevas, 47, is accused of murdering his wife of 20 years, Ligita Kostiajeviene, 42, in Cromwell Road, Peterborough, on 2 July.

Mr Kostiajevas stabbed her in their bedroom before resuming later when she "retreated" to the corner of another room, Cambridge Crown Court was told.

He denies murder, attempted murder and wounding with intent.

Prosecutor Stuart Trimmer QC told the jury "the case is set in the context of domestic violence" and the couple had a "turbulent" relationship.

Mr Trimmer said Ms Kostiajeviene, described as the family breadwinner, had spoken about leaving "but never actually found the courage to do it".

Image copyright Terry-Harris.com
Image caption Emergency services vehicles in Cromwell Road, Peterborough

He told the jury on that morning a woman went to the house and opened the door to the couple's bedroom to find Mr Kostiajevas "standing over Ligita with a knife".

The woman was then herself stabbed in the back before she was chased down the stairs, Mr Trimmer said.

As events progressed upstairs Ms Kostiajeviene and a child in the house at the time had moved into another bedroom and the child said they saw Mr Kostiajevas "repeatedly hit Ms Kostiajeviene with something", before the child was also attacked, the jury was told.

The court heard emergency services found Ms Kostiajeviene "slumped in the corner of the room between the bed and the wall partially covered with bedding" with a knife still in her neck.

She was pronounced dead at the scene and a post-mortem examination found she had a broken skull and multiple stab wounds, the jury heard.

Image copyright Terry-Harris.com
Image caption Andriejus Kostiajevas denies murdering Ms Kostiajeviene, attempted murder of the child, wounding with intent, unlawful wounding and assault on an emergency worker

Mr Kostiajevas was found by police in a shed and a "long period of negotiation ensued to get him down from where he was", Mr Trimmer said.

For the defendant, Rosina Cottage QC told the jury it was "not his actions that are in dispute but what was in his mind at the time".

She told the jury her client had a history of epilepsy and seizures and had "no memory of what happened".

He denies murdering Ms Kostiajeviene, attempted murder of the child, wounding with intent, unlawful wounding and assault on an emergency worker.

The trial continues.

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