Wales

Teresa Garner death: Couple had 'love-hate relationship'

Teresa Garner suffered 16 wounds to the head Image copyright Family Photo
Image caption Teresa Garner sustained 16 head wounds in a "ferocious" hammer attack

A man had a "love-hate relationship" with the fiancée he killed in a hammer attack, a court has heard.

John Garner, 51, admits killing Teresa Garner, mother to two of his children, in a "sustained and ferocious" attack in their bathroom, but denies murder.

Mold Crown Court heard Mr Garner, of Pen-y-Ffordd, Flintshire, had sometimes been banished to a camper van.

He had been known to hit Ms Garner but she also used to beat the accused, one of her friends told the jury.

The 46-year-old died after sustaining 16 wounds to the head in the hammer attack at their home on 24 October last year.

Image caption John Garner, 51, admits killing his partner Teresa Garner

The court heard a recording of the 999 call Mr Garner made when he told the operator: "I think I've murdered my missus."

Jurors were also told Mr Garner became agitated about Ms Garner seeing a former partner with whom she had her first child.

Ms Garner's best friend and next door neighbour admitted the couple had a "love-hate relationship" and Mr Garner would occasionally live in the camper van outside for weeks on end.

Sandra Dunster told the court she had witnessed many arguments between the couples and Mr Garner's personality was "totally different" after drinking alcohol.

"I have seen him a few times when he was aggressive," she told jurors.

"I came home one day and saw her nose was bleeding. She said he had punched her to the nose and she was taken by a neighbour to hospital."

Mrs Dunster told the court Ms Garner also had a temper as she recalled an incident when the victim had caused injuries to Mr Garner's face and hit him with a flip flop.

Mrs Dunster said it was "hit for hit, punch for punch".

Image caption Police were called to the home the couple shared in Pen-y-Ffordd, near Holywell

Jurors were also told Mr Garner visited Mrs Dunster's husband the day before Ms Garner was killed and appeared agitated, asking if Paul Dunster had heard about the texts found on Ms Garner's phone.

Mr Dunster added as Mr Garner left, he said: "I know what to do."

The court heard Mr Garner had appeared drunk when police arrived after Ms Garner was killed and he later told a custody nurse he knew what he had done.

But during police interviews, Mr Garner said he had no recollection of the attack.

The trial continues.

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