Ann Marie Pomphret bludgeoned with crowbar, court told

Ann Marie Pomphret Image copyright Police handout
Image caption Ann Marie Pomphret was found with head injuries

A husband who beat his wife to death with a crowbar was "a quiet man who finally snapped", a court has heard.

Ann Marie Pomphret was found at stables she and husband David owned in Warrington, Cheshire, on 2 November.

Liverpool Crown Court heard the 49-year-old was struck more than 30 times.

Mr Pomphret, 51, denies murder but admits manslaughter due to a "loss of self-control". Prosecutors told the court: "It may be loss of temper, but not loss of control."

The court heard Mrs Pomphret's injuries were consistent with the use of a crowbar recovered from a nearby pond.

Richard Pratt QC, defending, said: "What happened was this is a case where a quiet man finally snapped and unhappily he was a quiet man with a tool in his hand.

"It was a crowbar. It led to him repeatedly striking his wife over the head with a crowbar."

Mr Pratt said the Barclays bank worker faced longstanding "vocal and sometimes violent" abuse from his "highly volatile" wife.

He said the jury would hear evidence from the couple's 18-year-old daughter, who describes her father as "her rock" and says her mother used abusive language towards her.

'Totally lying account'

The family lived on Masefield Drive, Warrington, and also owned some nearby land on Old Alder Lane, where they kept horses.

On 2 November Mr Pomphret rang 999 claiming to have found his wife lying in a pool of blood at their stables after becoming worried she had been away from home for longer than expected.

He told the call-handler: "There is brain and blood everywhere, and it looks like she has had her head beaten in."

The defendant was arrested the next day and initially denied any involvement.

Gordon Cole QC, prosecuting, told the jury he had given "a totally lying account" of what had happened.

He said: "We say this is not loss of control - it may be loss of temper - but not loss of control.

"That is one, perhaps the, main issue. We say this is a case of murder."

The trial continues.

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