Berkshire

Husband 'battered wife to death' in Reading home

Simone Grainger Image copyright Thames Valley Police
Image caption Simone Grainger was found with head injuries in her Calcot home

A husband contacted a prostitute and ordered drugs after he battered his wife to death, a court has heard.

The body of Simone Grainger, 30, was found wrapped in a rug in her kitchen after she was strangled and suffered head injuries, a jury was told.

Francis FitzGibbon QC said a neighbour heard "loud thumps" which was "the defendant battering Simone's head with or against something".

Steven Grainger, 32, of Reading, denies murder and one count of manslaughter.

An argument between the couple "escalated and turned violent" in their home in Windsor Way, Calcot, Berkshire, on 3 November last year, the jury at Reading Crown Court heard.

A post-mortem examination found Mrs Grainger died of "strangulation and head injuries", Mr FitzGibbon added.

Blood found on the base of a saucepan in the kitchen matched Mrs Grainger's DNA, the court heard.

Her body was found by family members several hours after she died.

'Self-defence'

Jurors were told the defendant spent "some time" trying to clean up traces of blood but did not call the emergency services.

Instead, he rang a man asking for drugs and contacted a prostitute, the court heard.

Mr Grainger said he pushed his wife in self-defence, after she began hitting him, and she fell backwards, before getting up and attacking him with scissors.

The court heard he then grabbed his wife to "restrain her" before she "felt heavy and fell forwards on to the floor".

The couple, who were married for two years, had a "tense" relationship, the prosecution said.

In voicemail played to the court, Mrs Grainger told her husband: "I literally want to run down the M4 to whack you in the face and stab you in the eye."

Mr Grainger also confessed to a work colleague he had "put his hands around her neck and strangled her" during a previous row, the court heard.

The trial is expected to last four weeks.

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