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Murder accused 'smothered' wife to death after fight, court hears
1:57pm Monday 7th October 2013 in Local
A FATHER-of-three smothered his childhood sweetheart to death after a fight which culminated in him pushing her down the stairs of their Kidderminster home, a jury has been told.
Kidderminster man Alan Evans, who works as a welder in Droitwich, is charged with murdering his 32-year-old wife Louise while their three young daughters were asleep upstairs.
Care assistant Mrs Evans was found at the bottom of the stairs of their home in Stoney Lane, Kidderminster, in the early hours of July 10 last year.
Worcester Crown Court heard today that her body was already cold and showing signs of rigor mortis by the time emergency services were called.
Prosecutor Jonas Hankin QC told the court there was medical evidence that Mrs Evans was alive for at least a short while after the fall.
"The prosecution case is that the defendant, having assaulted her, pushed or threw her down the stairs," he said.
"If she did not die then or shortly afterwards, he smothered her to death.
"He did not intend her to survive."
Their neighbours Charles and Hayley Weale, who share a "very thin" wall with the Evans home, heard some commotion in the run-up to Mrs Evans' death, Mr Hankin said.
Firstly, at around 10pm, Mrs Weale heard Mrs Evans scream and swear, followed by the sound of drawers and doors opening and closing.
They were both woken some time later by what they described as an "almighty crash" - a bang so loud they both initially thought it had come from inside their own home.
When they realised it had not, they returned to bed and didn't think much more about it.
Mr Hankin said while they do not have a clock in their bedroom, they believe it was around 11pm to 11.30pm.
The jury was also told about the findings of two post mortems.
These found injuries consistent with a fall down the stairs - but also discovered a number of bruises to Mrs Evans' face, including a fractured eye socket.
These injuries, Mr Hankin told the court, were unlikely to occur in a fall due to bony protection around the eyes - and are usually symptomatic of an "inflicted blow" such as a punch or a kick.
Evans, who is 34 and works as a welder for Egbert H. Taylor in Droitwich, wiped away tears as the jury was shown pictures of his wife's body lying at the bottom of the stairs, and diagrams showing her injuries.
Mr Hankin said a skipping rope had been found next to where Mrs Evans had been, while a vacuum cleaner was spotted lying on its side, its hose loose and curled at the top of the staircase.
"The prosecution say these were placed there, to make it seem like this was all just a terrible accident," he added.
Evans was arrested when a police officer agreed that the presence of these items at the scene were "out of place", Mr Hankin said, as the landing and stairway were otherwise tidy and clear of mess.
The court heard that Evans claims he had fallen asleep while watching TV, and had found his wife lying in the hallway when he woke up.
The couple had been together for 18 years, having been childhood sweethearts, and had been married for 12 years.
Evans denies one count of murder.
The trial continues.