Cage fighter, 37, stabbed his beautician ex-girlfriend, 32, to death after accusing her of being an escort who had slept with family, before threatening to kill her teenage daughter and knifing a stranger, court hears
- Andrew Wadsworth, 37, is said to have attacked Melissa Belshaw, 32, at home
- Manchester Crown Court heard the ‘murder’ was ‘prolonged’ and ‘remorseless’
- He allegedly made threat to kill Ms Belshaw’s daughter, 13, with knife to her neck
- Wadsworth is then accused of going outside where he stabbed a stranger
- He denies murder, attempted murder and making a threat to kill in court
A cage fighter is accused of stabbing his beautician ex-girlfriend to death after ‘interrogating her’ over her sex life following a cocaine and alcohol binge – then rampaging outside to knife a stranger.
Andrew Wadsworth, 37, is said to have subjected Melissa Belshaw, 32, to a ‘prolonged, remorseless attack’ and then left her in the corner of an upstairs room underneath clothing, a court heard yesterday.
Texts from earlier in the year had showed him accuse her of being an escort and having sexual encounters with people he knew, including members of her family.
Wadsworth, who had been released on licence from prison, also allegedly threatened to kill Ms Belshaw’s 13-year-old daughter with a knife to her throat before a passer-by heard her cries of distress and smashed open the front door to rescue her.
The teenager had earlier bravely raised the alarm by calling police from inside the property before her phone battery ran out.
Still armed and dangerous, the defendant later came out of the terrace house in Billinge, Wigan, and pinned a neighbour to the floor and repeatedly stabbed him, Manchester Crown Court was told.
Melissa Belshaw, a 32-year-old mother and beautician, was stabbed to death at her home
Prosecutor Tim Storrie QC told jurors they may find only the timely arrival of police saved the man’s life as the defendant surrendered when an officer deployed a Taser and he was taken into custody.
Attempts were made by emergency services to revive Ms Belshaw, but she was pronounced dead at the scene in Upholland Road on the afternoon of May 20.
A post-mortem examination revealed she sustained a series of ‘devastating’ stab wounds delivered with severe force and had bruising around her upper body consistent with being manhandled, the court heard.
Mr Storrie said Wadsworth and Ms Belshaw had rowed the night before at her home after taking cocaine and drinking alcohol.
Andrew Wadsworth, 36, from Wigan is charged with murdering his wife and is on trial
Forensic officers at the home of Ms Belshaw, where she was found murdered by police
Their relationship could be described as ‘volatile and dependent on a mutual or common interest in drink, drugs and sex’, jurors were told.
The prosecutor said: ‘After his arrest Andrew Wadsworth described Melissa Belshaw to the police as ‘just someone I have always known’ but ‘not a friend’.
‘These observations did not tell the whole story as to how close the couple had been in times past. They had in fact been for a short time in an intimate relationship with each other. For a short period of time, they had lived with each other.
‘It is plain from messages exchanged between the two that at times Melissa Belshaw regretted the relationship had ended but it is also plain the defendant had strong and mixed feelings about her.
‘In particular, you may think the defendant was magnetically attracted to Melissa Belshaw, her lifestyle, her use of cocaine, but at the same time he could not make her submit to his will.
‘The messages also establish he was suspicious of Melissa Belshaw. He believed she worked as an escort and for some time he believed she had been involved in sexual encounters with numbers of people, some of whom he knew, including members of her family.
‘And he did not believe her when she denied the suggestions he made to her.’
Wadsworth accepted during police interviews that he killed Ms Belshaw but claimed he lost his temper and stabbed her within a minute of what he said were ‘shock’ disclosures from her about her sex life, and a set-up arranged by her in which he was robbed and injured.
Mr Storrie said the defendant was relying on a partial defence of loss of control.
He told jurors: ‘In response it is important for you to know that the prosecution contends that, even if true, these claims do not amount to a sufficient basis for claiming he justifiably lost control of himself.’
Wadsworth, of Cranfield Road, Wigan, denies murder, attempted murder and making a threat to kill.