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Murdered mother-of-eight had 86 injuries, jury told

By John Scott | Netherton | Crime | Published:

A mother-of-eight allegedly murdered by her former partner had 86 injuries, 43 of which were to the head and neck, a jury heard.

Police tape outside the Cinder Bank house where Claire Harris died

The others were on the arms, legs, abdomen and chest of 44-year-old Claire Harris who suffered deep internal bruising to her neck muscles, scalp and cheek bone, Stafford Crown Court was told.

Mr Jonas Hankin, QC, prosecuting, claimed the victim was beaten up and throttled by Rickardo Wilson who admits grabbing the victim round the neck while dragging her to the floor after she supposedly picked up a knife during a row at her flat in Cinder Bank, Netherton on January 23.

The 50-year-old told detectives he thought she had been knocked out when she went limp and left her where she lay while he watched television for ten minutes, it was said.

The defendant alleged he realised she was not breathing when he returned to the body and attempted artificial respiration but did not ring for an ambulance or any other emergency service, the court was told.

CCTV captured Wilson going out to buy beer twice during the night and he was still at the address when one of the children of Miss Harris found her dead body lying on the floor when he called the following evening after her anxious family had been unable to contact her for 24 hours.

She had accepted an invitation to have dinner with the defendant at her rented flat where he had stayed after they parted a couple of months earlier and she went to live with relatives in Dudley who did not expect her to stay out all night.

A pathologist could not find the definitive cause of death but suggested strangulation was the most likely explanation for the sudden fatality, maintained Mr Hankin who continued: “The defendant must have struck her about the face and head more than once but he has offered no explanation for those injuries and has denied striking her.

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“In all likelihood he lost his temper because she was leaving the flat that evening or said their relationship was over.

"His anger is responsible for what he did and, in the heat of it, strangled her to death deliberately.

"At no time did she offer a threat to him. If she picked up the knife she did so in response to the threat posed by him. He knew it was murder and concealed the details from the emergency services and her family.”

Wilson claims he did not use excessive force against Miss Harris and pleads not guilty to murder and manslaughter.

The case continues.

John Scott

By John Scott
Reporter/News Feature Writer

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