Wales

Swansea murder accused 'told doctor wife was depressed'

The couple's house in Mumbles, Swansea
Image caption Lesley Potter's body was found at the couple's home in Hill Street, Mumbles

A man accused of murdering his wife and claiming her death was suicide has told a jury she was depressed before she died.

Lesley Potter's body was found on a table at their home in Swansea in April and Derek Potter said he had cut it down before paramedics arrived.

The 64-year-old told Swansea Crown Court he had, in the past, "almost killed" his wife by choking her - but that was before he stopped drinking.

Mr Potter, from Mumbles, denies murder.

Defence counsel Mark Wyeth QC asked Mr Potter whether his wife had been in constant pain from arthritis to which he replied that she had.

Mr Potter told the court his wife was buying codeine painkillers from a different pharmacy to which she usually shopped in case it queried how many she was taking.

Image caption Derek Potter is on trial at Swansea Crown Court accused of murdering his wife

He told the court that he had raised concerns with his doctor last November that Mrs Potter, 66, was in pain and "hoarding" as a result of depression.

Jurors have heard police did not initially treat Mrs Potter's death as suspicious, and her body was released to funeral directors.

Three weeks after her death and a week before her cremation, police decided to re-examine the incident.

The prosecution said this happened after he confessed to killing his wife because she was "doing his head in".

A post-mortem examination found Mrs Potter had a number of injuries including internal bruising and "other marks" on her body, the court heard.

Mr Potter, of Hill Street, told police that on the day before she died, she had tripped over a footstool and fallen on the floor.

When asked how he would describe how she died, he said she had taken her own life.

He told the court he did not have a fight or argue with his wife on the day of her death.

During cross examination by Elwen Evans QC, Mr Potter admitted to previously choking his wife "about 15 times", mostly during sex games.

The court heard he had choked his wife twice in anger - one time which "almost killed her" - but he said he "could not really remember" the "drink-related" rows.

The trial continues.

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