'Indescribable rage' drove St Leonards man to kill, jury told

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image captionHeather Whitbread (left) and Michelle Savage were shot several times, jurors heard

A man murdered his estranged wife because of his "indescribable rage" that she had left him, a court heard.

Craig Savage, 35, is accused of shooting Michelle Savage, her mother Heather Whitbread, and their pet dog at their home in St Leonards, East Sussex.

Mrs Savage had been shot six times and her mother about seven times in a "planned execution" on 16 March, jurors at Lewes Crown Court were told.

The former soldier denies murdering them both.

He also denies possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life.

Benjamin Aina QC, prosecuting, said: "You deliberately and intentionally killed Michelle because she refused to reconcile with you, didn't you?"

Mr Savage replied: "Your logic is I couldn't do without her so tried to kill her. How does that make sense?"

image captionCraig Savage denies two counts of murder

The court heard how in the days after their separation Mr Savage, of no fixed address, had threatened to upload revenge porn if his wife did not have sex with him.

She refused and 10 days later he carried out his threat, the jury was told.

Mr Aina told the court Mr Savage drove to Hastings on the eve of Mrs Savage's birthday, a week before the alleged murders, to pour paint over the family cars and slash their tyres in a "spiteful act".

The jury heard he sent her an email saying he was "overwhelmed by a tidal wave of emotion" and that he felt anger and betrayal.

Mr Savage has claimed he tripped and the gun went off accidentally after a struggle with Mrs Savage.

He has said he did not intend to hurt his estranged wife but planned to kidnap her and hoped police would shoot him dead in front of her.

Savage has admitted robbery after stealing the rifle with ammunition from a firing range.

The trial continues.

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