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Alleged murder victim was 'safety conscious'
4:44pm Thursday 17th October 2013 in News
A "SAFETY conscious" mother-of-three who died after plummeting down the stairs of her own home "never" would have left debris at the top of the stairs, a court heard.
Bridget Smith, a registered nurse for more than 30 years, was the first on the scene after Alan Evans woke her in the early hours of July 10 last year, saying his wife Louise was lying at the bottom of the staircase of their home in Stoney Lane, Kidderminster, and not moving.
Evans, 35, is accused of murdering 32-year-old Louise by pushing her down the stairs and then smothering her to death.
Mrs Smith said Mrs Evans had been a close friend and said she had babysat for the couple's three young daughters several times.
She was the one who pointed out to police the fact there was a vacuum cleaner lying on its side on the landing with its hose unravelled, and a skipping rope on the stairs beneath Mrs Evans' hand.
"It was just so unusual. I thought pointing it out was the right thing to do," she said.
"Louise was the sort of person who was careful about that sort of thing.
"When the twins were born and they started moving around, she had a glass coffee table and she gave it to her mom as she didn't want the twins to fall on it.
"She was just very safety conscious.
"The hoover was never normally left there and it was dangerous. The girls would have had to step over it to get to the bathroom."
Mrs Smith, who was a neighbour of the couple, was woken by Evans on the night of her death, while he was calling 999.
She took over the call and the jury heard a recording of the call in which she told the operator she believed Mrs Evans was already dead.
In evidence, Mrs Smith told the court Mrs Evans' body was "as cold as marble" and her lips were blue.
She estimated Louise had been dead for at least 90 minutes by the time she was taken there by Evans.
The jury also heard from Hayley and Charles Weale, the Evans' immediate neighbours, who described hearing a "loud bang" that woke them both in the middle of the night.
The bang was so loud they initially thought someone had broken into their house.
They both described waking a short while later as they could hear Evans sobbing loudly downstairs, but said they did not hear the paramedics or the ambulance arrive.
Mrs Weale, aged 33, also said she had heard Mrs Evans scream shortly before 10pm on the night of her death.
Evans denies murder and claims he was asleep downstairs when his wife fell.
The trial continues.