Lancashire

Sadie Hartley: Murder accused denies wearing men's boots to 'slaughter' rival

Sadie Hartley Image copyright Family of Sadie Hartley
Image caption Sadie Hartley was stabbed 40 times at her house on Sunny Bank Road in Helmshore

A woman accused of murder has denied wearing men's boots to "slaughter" her love rival, a court has heard.

Sarah Williams, 35, claims she bought the boots as a present for her ex-lover Ian Johnston, 57, but the prosecution say she was trying to avoid detection.

Boot prints were found at the Helmshore home of Mr Johnston and partner, Sadie Hartley, 60, who was stabbed to death after being paralysed with a stun gun.

Ms Williams and 56-year-old Katrina Walsh, both from Chester, deny murder.

Image caption Sadie Hartley, a mother-of-two, was found dead in the hallway of her house in Rossendale

Ms Hartley was attacked with a 500,000-volt stun gun and stabbed 40 times on 14 January.

The prosecution claims Ms Williams was driven by a jealous desire to "get rid of" mother-of-two Ms Hartley so she could have the ex-fireman to herself.

The pair of £19.99 boots were bought by Ms Williams from a Deichmann's store at the Cheshire Oaks Designer Outlet in Ellesmere Port two days before Ms Hartley's death.

They were later discovered at the workplace of Ms Williams' co-defendant, Ms Walsh, along with the kitchen knife murder weapon and the stun gun, the court heard.

Image copyright Family of Sadie Hartley
Image caption Two women are accused of killing Sadie Hartley in January

Ms Williams said Ms Walsh suggested buying the boots, which were later gift-wrapped at Ms Walsh's home, and it was likely she had left them there "by mistake or by accident", Preston Crown Court heard.

Cross-examining Ms Williams, Tony Cross QC, defending Ms Walsh, said: "That is a bare-faced lie. You had them on your feet when you slaughtered the victim."

Ski travel firm worker Ms Williams replied: "I have never wore those boots on my feet or slaughtered the victim."

The jury has heard Ms Williams deny any involvement in the murder or that she knew any violence would be directed at Ms Hartley.

Horse riding instructor Ms Walsh denies playing a key role in helping her friend and says she believed she was playing a game of the Channel 4 programme Hunted - where teams of people try to avoid detection by "going off the grid".

The case continues.

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