Suffolk

Martlesham murder trial: Scott Ellis had 'personality disorder'

Jane Bartholomew Image copyright Suffolk Police
Image caption Jane Bartholomew was found dead in her living room by a daughter when she came back from school

A man accused of murdering his ex-partner had a personality disorder and depression, his defence has said.

Scott Ellis, 42, of Tunstall, Suffolk, denies murdering Jane Bartholomew, 39, at her house in Martlesham Heath near Ipswich in June.

A defence psychiatrist told Ipswich Crown Court Mr Ellis's mental illness meant he had lost control.

Mr Ellis's defence claims it was manslaughter due to diminished responsibility.

Ms Bartholomew, who had had three daughters with the defendant, died as a result of receiving 20 blows from a hammer.

The couple had lived at separate addresses for about 10 years, but their relationship only ended recently, the court heard.

'Inadequate individual'

Peter Gair, prosecuting, argued Ellis had "brutally executed" her and his purchase of a "killing kit", featuring a hammer, spade, nylon ropes and plastic bags, showed it was planned.

The jury has heard he had put his hands around Ms Bartholomew's throat during a confrontation at her workplace car park in Rendlesham on 22 May, but it had not been reported to police.

Bob Peckitt, a professor of forensic psychiatry, gave evidence for the defence having examined Mr Ellis after the killing.

The court heard Mr Ellis, who was unemployed, had first complained he had depression in about 1999.

Prof Peckitt said: "The defendant had a personality disorder and the depression grew out of it.

"Mr Ellis is an inadequate individual ... and he has very little resilience."

Asked by Mr Gair if Mr Ellis was in control and acting rationally, Prof Peckitt said: "No, the depression was progressive and the violent thoughts and feelings were becoming more intrusive.

"There is no obstacle to a person with a serious mental disorder behaving in a rational way towards an irrational goal."

The trial continues.

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