Obsessed former cage fighter guilty of ex's murder in Billinge

Image caption,
Melissa Belshaw was murdered at her home on Upholland Road in Billinge

A former cage fighter who knifed his ex-girlfriend to death at her home has been convicted of her murder.

Andrew Wadsworth, who became obsessed with details of Melissa Belshaw's sex life, took alcohol and cocaine before killing her in a prolonged attack in her bedroom in Billinge, Wigan in May.

Ms Belshaw's daughter was rescued by a passer-by, who broke into the house with a hammer after hearing her cries.

A Manchester Crown Court jury also found him guilty of attempted murder.

The court had previously been told the 37-year-old, of Cranfield Road, Wigan, had regularly accused Ms Belshaw, 32, of cheating on him, including by working as a prostitute.

Tim Storrie QC, prosecuting, said those so-called revelations were merely "recycled accusations" which amounted to a character assassination of Ms Belshaw by Wadsworth to try and shift the blame.

Wadsworth had admitted stabbing Ms Belshaw but told the court it had been a loss of control by way of partial defence against the murder charge.

The hearing was told he had been released from jail in 2017, having served six years for violent offences, but was later recalled after testing positive for cocaine, before being released again two months before the attack.

The court heard he subjected Ms Belshaw to a prolonged attack in her bedroom on 20 May after consuming cocaine and alcohol.

Shortly after, passer-by Kevin Moores heard the voice of a distressed girl from the house in Upholland Road and broke in, carrying Ms Belshaw's daughter to safety while Wadsworth paced upstairs.

The 40-year-old later stepped in again, kicking knife-wielding Wadsworth on the leg while he was attacking Ms Belshaw's neighbour, Gerard Bristow, to allow Mr Bristow to break free.

Wadsworth, who was cleared of making a threat to kill against Ms Belshaw's daughter, is due to be sentenced on Thursday.

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