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Ann Marie Pomphret stables murder: Husband guilty

David Pomphret Image copyright Cheshire Police
Image caption David Pomphret said his wife could go from being happy to depressed "in minutes"

A man who battered his wife to death with a crowbar during a row has been found guilty of her murder.

Ann Marie Pomphret, 49, was struck 30 times by her husband David at the stables they owned in Warrington, Cheshire, on 2 November.

Pomphret, 51, admitted killing his wife, but denied murder on the grounds of a temporary loss of control.

Liverpool Crown Court heard he had been abused by his "highly volatile" wife whose mental health had deteriorated.

Richard Pratt QC, defending, told the 10-day trial Pomphret faced longstanding "vocal and sometimes violent" abuse from his wife.

Began 'ranting'

The jury heard the couple met on Mrs Pomphret's 21st birthday and were happily married with an 18-year-old daughter.

However, over the course of their 22-year marriage, his wife's physical and mental health changed.

Pomphret said his wife could go from being happy to depressed in minutes and become "very angry, very quickly".

The Barclays bank technology expert said the couple had gone to the stables to check on their horses on 2 November when Mrs Pomphret began "ranting" at him.

Image copyright Police handout
Image caption David Pomphret struck his wife Ann Marie 30 times with a crowbar

He told the trial the next thing he remembered, "I was standing at the side of her body. There was blood on my hands and the crowbar. She was on the floor...".

He dialled 999, saying he had found his wife lying in a pool of blood, "very dead", adding: "There is brain and blood everywhere, and it looks like she has had her head beaten in."

Blood on socks

Pomphret was arrested the next day and initially denied any involvement.

He burned his bloodstained clothes, disposed of the murder weapon, protested his innocence and was released on bail.

Image copyright CPS
Image caption The court heard Mrs Pomphret's injuries were consistent with the use of a crowbar which was recovered from a nearby pond

But he did not destroy his socks, which would "come back to haunt him", the prosecution said.

He was re-arrested after police found his wife's "airborne blood" on his socks putting him at the scene of the crime, the trial heard.

He then had to change his story, the jury was told and admitted manslaughter, tearfully telling the jury he "killed the woman I loved".

Pomphret still denied murder, instead claiming a "special defence" and blaming his wife's behaviour for a temporary loss of control.

He will be sentenced next week.

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