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County Durham postman killed his wife by stabbing her 68 times and left wedding ring beside her body

A postman killed his wife by stabbing her 68 times and left his wedding ring beside her body as their marriage fell apart, a court heard.

Sally and Harry Turner met in 2016 and married in 2017 but by early 2022, the marriage was breaking down. Jurors were told Sally had begun to have an affair with a taxi driver and told him that Turner no longer showed her any love and had become an alcoholic.

Turner, who had got colleagues to spy on Sally and predicted “this is going to end badly”, has pleaded guilty to manslaughter but denies murdering Sally in County Durham and is standing trial at Newcastle Crown Court. Craig Hassall KC, prosecuting, said that in the early part of 2022, their relationship was “in a state of significant flux, sometimes they were on very good terms, sometimes very bad”.

On Good Friday, April 15, Sally returned her wedding ring to Turner and told him that their marriage was over. He later told a friend that he and Sally were splitting up because of her affair with one of the taxi drivers. Notwithstanding the breakdown of their marriage, they continued to live in the same house, albeit sleeping in different rooms.

Mr Hassall said: “Harry was aware of the affair, as is evident from many text messages obtained by the police during their investigation. Some of those messages, from early May 2022, suggest that each of them knew that the other was having sexual contact with other people and that each positively encouraged the other to do so.”

Mr Hassall added: “There had been clear difficulties in Sally and the defendant’s marriage for some time before Sally’s death, and the evidence suggests that each spouse blamed the other for the breakdown of the marriage.

When Turner became suspicious about Sally’s fidelity, he started to spy on her and recruited colleagues from the Post Office to do the same. He asked a virtual stranger, to whom he delivered post, to look after a mobile telephone, on which he said he had captured evidence which incriminated Sally.

On 25th April 2022, he got a colleague to drive to the family home on Allington Place, Durham, to see what Sally was doing. She saw Sally stroke the taxi driver’s arm whilst they were chatting and reported this information back to the Turner. He then asked the colleague to visit the house again and to take photographs, but she refused.

Mr Hassall said the colleague thought that he came across as “obsessive” about Sally and the taxi driver. He added: “The defendant said in a text message to a colleague, ‘My whole body aches, I’m seriously hating her’. From April, the defendant kept saying things like ‘watch this space’ and ‘this is gonna end badly’.”

Turner moved out and their relationship appeared to improve. Text messages from Sally to Turner say that she was committed to him as his wife and she was looking forward to their future together. Unbeknown to him however, Sally was continuing her sexual relationship with the taxi driver.

On June 22 2022, Turner and Sally went together to a café and CCTV footage of their journey there shows them holding hands as they walked. At exactly the same time, the taxi driver was sending a sexual text message to Sally.

After the café, they walked hand in hand back to the address where Turner was staying. Sally trimmed his beard for him. However, a little before 11am, Turner stabbed Sally to death, the court heard.

Mr Hassall said: “A neighbour heard at that time a woman’s voice screaming very loudly for several seconds. The neighbour then heard footsteps within number 87 followed by another scream, before the house then fell silent.”

A post-mortem revealed that Sally’s death had been caused by stab wounds to her face, neck and torso. No fewer than 78 wounds had been caused by at least 68 separate blows with a knife or knives. Two of those blows had fractured or otherwise damaged Sally’s bones and must therefore have been inflicted with severe force.

Damage to Sally’s jugular vein, trachea, lungs, spleen and kidney had led to fatal blood loss. A slash wound across Sally’s throat occurred at or near the end of Turner’s attack on her.

Examination of the address revealed that Sally had first been attacked in the living room and then attacked further as she fled into the hallway and towards the front door. A blood-stained knife, the blade of which had been bent by impact with a hard object was found in the kitchen. A second knife which had also been used to stab Sally was found underneath her body. Turner had left his wedding ring on the floor beside Sally’s body.

Sally’s daughter, Ronnie, went to the front door and saw her mum in the porch surrounded by blood. She felt unable to go inside. A neighbour first went inside the house and found Sally’s body. There was blood all over the porch. The defendant’s wedding ring was on the floor right in front of Sally’s face.

Mr Hassall said: “Ronnie went to speak to the defendant who told Ronnie that her mum would be ‘ok’ and that they had ‘a little argument and a little fight’.

Mr Hassall added: “We, the prosecution, say that this is a clear case of an intention to kill. The defendant accepts that he unlawfully killed Sally, and has pleaded guilty to her manslaughter, but he does not accept that he is guilty of her murder.” He relies on the partial defence to murder of loss of control.

He claims Sally said something to him and the next thing he remembers is standing over a seriously injured Sally in the porch. Turner was interviewed by a psychiatrist and said “maybe she said something, it was a bit of a blur, there was nobody else there”. He then realised that he had a knife in his hand and he had “killed her”.

Referring to what Turner claimed triggered what happened, Mr Hassall said: “We suggest that the much more likely trigger for any loss of control by the defendant, was him discovering Sally’s infidelity, or rather continued infidelity, with the taxi driver.”

Turner, 51, denies murder and the trial continues.

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View news Source: https://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/north-east-news/county-durham-postman-killed-wife-29162312

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