'Job-loss resentment led to farm worker murder' court told

Fiona Southwell Image copyright Humberside Police
Image caption The body of Fiona Southwell was discovered at a farm near Seaton, East Yorkshire in July

A man stabbed a 60-year-old woman to death in a "vicious, protracted attack" because he "harboured resentment" over her being given his job, a court has heard.

Daniel Edwards, 22, is accused of murdering Fiona Southwell at farm near Seaton, East Yorkshire in July.

The jury at Hull Crown Court heard Ms Southwell replaced him as a stable hand at Grange Farm after he was sacked.

Mr Edwards of King Street, Hornsea, East Yorkshire, denies murder.

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Opening the case for the prosecution, barrister David Gordon said Ms Southwell died from multiple stab wounds in "a vicious, protracted attack".

He added that Mr Edwards resentment about losing his job "may have provided him with a motive".

"This might sound extreme," Mr Gordon said. "Most well-balanced individuals who lose their job wouldn't then resort to violence against the person taking over their job - but there it is."

The court heard Mr Edwards was working in a new job at a neighbouring farm on the morning of the murder.

Ms Southwell's body was found by her brother, Samuel Southwell, who had become worried when she did not return home for meals. He went to look for her and found her lying on her back in a barn.

The prosecutor said Mr Edwards was arrested at his home on 16 July. Clothing stained with Ms Southwell's blood was recovered from his bedroom.

Her blood was also found on the defendant's ankle, on a kitchen knife found in a hedgerow near the farm and on a blood-stained child's vest, thought to have been used to wipe the knife clean, the jury was told.

The trial continues.

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