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Last Updated: Tuesday, 19 June 2007, 13:32 GMT 14:32 UK
Woman 'killed in front of child'
Forensics officers at the house in Street
Sharon Blair died in April 2006
A Somerset man killed his lover by stabbing her 145 times at his home, a court has heard.

The attack on Sharon Blair, 42, in Street last year, happened in front of one of her children, who made a 999 call in an attempt to save her mother.

Jurors at Bristol Crown Court were told that Chris Jones, 54, of Orchard Road, Street, stabbed Ms Blair and then mutilated her body. He denies murder.

The prosecution said Mr Jones would plead guilty to manslaughter.

On Tuesday, the jury heard a five-minute recording of a 999 call that Ms Blair's 10-year-old daughter had made while the attack was taking place.

The prosecution said the tape contained desperate screams, the cries of the young girl and the shouts of the defendant.

Jealous rage

Prosecutor Paul Dunkels said Mr Jones had flown into a jealous rage on the night of the attack, and had stabbed Ms Blair with a total of six knives.

He said she suffered wounds to her face, scalp, neck, torso, arms and hands.

When police arrived at the house, they found Ms Blair dead on the kitchen floor, covered in blood.

Mr Dunkels said Mr Jones's defence would be that, at the time, he was suffering from an abnormality of mind which had reduced his mental responsibility.

Mr Jones, he said, accepted he had killed Ms Blair but would say that he was not guilty of murder.

The 10-year-old who called police had tried to alert someone to what was happening, but had abandoned the receiver.

'Help me'

Neighbours saw the youngster outside in her pyjamas and covered in blood.

She was shouting: "My mummy's been killed. He killed her. You have got to help me", the court heard.

She was also seen trying to coax her younger sister out of a ground floor window.

The court was told that when neighbours called at the house, Mr Jones told them: "She's dead. You'd better call the police. It's not my fault."

Later, when the police arrived, he told them: "I'm sorry. I'm responsible. Something terrible has happened."

Mr Jones blamed Ms Blair for initiating the attack, claiming she was drunk and had threatened him with a knife.

The prosecutor said no trace of drink or drugs had been found in Ms Blair's system and that Mr Jones's account was untrue.

The case continues.

Man is remanded on murder charge
18 Apr 06 |  Somerset

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