Kidderminster woman 'screamed out' before death
A woman's scream was heard by a neighbour hours before she was found dead at the bottom of the stairs, a court has heard.
The screaming came from Louise Evans, 32, who the prosecution say was murdered by her husband of 12 years Alan Evans at their Worcestershire home in July 2012.
Alan Evans, 35, denies murder at Worcester Crown Court.
The prosecution say Mr Evans tried to make the death look like an accident.
A skipping rope was found nearby and a vacuum with its hose uncoiled was on the landing near the top step.
The prosecution alleges Mrs Evans discovered her husband was having an affair with a teaching assistant and confronted him.
Woken by crying
The couple's neighbour, Hayley Wheale, told Worcester Crown Court that at about 21:45 BST on 9 July she heard loud screaming and swearing through the wall of her bedroom in Kidderminster.
She described Mrs Evans as a quiet but friendly woman and had never heard her swear or exclaim before.
Mrs Wheale said after the scream, she heard: "A sound like drawers being shut frantically and heavy footsteps in the bedroom."
She told the court she had gone to sleep but was woken by the sound of Mr Evans crying.
Another neighbour and off-duty nurse, Bridget Smith, told the court she found her friend lying "cold as marble" at the bottom of the stairs next to a skipping rope.
Mr Evans had knocked on Mrs Smith's door asking for help, but she told a jury that when she got to the house Mrs Evans had been dead for "an hour and a half to two hours".
In a recording of a 999 call played to the court, Mrs Smith was heard to ask Mr Evans where he was when his wife had apparently fallen, to which he replied: "I was asleep".
The trial continues.