United Kingdom

Cage fighter ‘stabbed ex-girlfriend to death in row over her sex life’

A professional cage fighter stabbed his ex-girlfriend to death in a row over her sex life after being released from prison on licence, a court heard.

Andrew Wadsworth, 37, allegedly killed beautician Melissa Belshaw, 32, in a “prolonged, remorseless and deliberate” knife attack in her home after confronting her with claims about sexual relations with others.

Ms Belshaw died from a “series of deliberate stab wounds ” which had been inflicted with “severe force ” and the victim had made “a futile attempt to defend herself”, the court heard.

Prosecutor Tim Storrie said that Wadsworth was “magnetically attracted” to Ms Belshaw and the couple had “a volatile relationship which was dependent on their mutual interest in drink, drugs and sex”.

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Ms Belshaw had tried to defend herself as she was stabbed to death, a court heard

The court heard that Ms Belshaw’s body was found in an upstairs room at her terraced home in Billinge, near Wigan, on May 20 this year.

Mr Storrie said that Wadsworth, a mixed martial arts expert, had tried to kill hero neighbour Gerrard Bristow in the aftermath of stabbing Ms Belshaw.

He said that Mr Bristow, who had been delivering a parcel, had broken into the house after hearing screams from inside, Manchester Crown Crown Court was told.

Mr Storrie told the jury that “only the timely arrival of then police had saved this man’s life”.

Cage fighter 'stabbed ex-girlfriend to death in row over her sex life'
Tape surrounds the scene after the alleged murder on May 20

Cage fighter 'stabbed ex-girlfriend to death in row over her sex life'
Ms Belshaw was attacked at her terraced home in Billinge, the court heard

He said: “In the aftermath of the killing, Wadsworth came out into the street. He was still armed. He was still dangerous and his intentions were plainly still murderous.”

CCTV footage would show Wadsworth advancing toward Mr Bristow, pinning him to the floor and stabbing him in the chest before being restrained by police officers, the court heard.

Mr Storrie said: “It was no more than good fortune that Mr Bristow was not more seriously injured than he was. It is crystal clear that the man who attacked him had, moments before, inflicted fatal wounds on another human being.

“He knew precisely how devastating the attack could be and he intended to kill Mr Bristow.”

Mr Storrie said that at the time Wadsworth was on licence from a prison sentence and that the probation service and the police had concerns about his history of drug use.

The jury heard that Wadsworth admitted killing Ms Belshaw but claimed he was not guilty of murder because he had acted “instinctively” and suffered a “loss of control”.

Mr Storried said Wadsworth’s defence that he lost his temper because of disclosures about her sex life was “fabricated as an excuse to stop him taking the blame”.

The prosecutor said Wadsworth had joined Ms Belshaw at her home on May 17, three days before her death. The night before the killing they had spent the night drinking and taking cocaine.

Cage fighter 'stabbed ex-girlfriend to death in row over her sex life'
Forensics officers outside Ms Belshaw’s home in Billinge

Cage fighter 'stabbed ex-girlfriend to death in row over her sex life'
A police officer stands at a cordon at the scene in Billinge

The following day, Wadsworth had “interrogated her” about claims over sexual relations with other people.

Mr Storrie said: “He was dissatisfied with her answers so he took a knife and stabbed her repeatedly, killing her.”

The jury was told that the couple had lived together for a short time but Ms Belshaw had regretted the relationship had ended.

Mr Storrie said: “Wadsworth was magnetically attracted to Ms Belshaw and her lifestyle, her use of cocaine, which did not make her submit to his will.

“He had his suspicions about her and believed she had been involved in sexual encounters with people he knew.”

In the previous September he had allegedly sent her a text reading: “You are a prostitute and you know you are. You f*** loads of people and go missing for days at a time.”

In another he allegedly said: “I did everything for you but you brought nothing to the table and put no effort in whatsoever.”

Mr Storrie said the jury would see footage from a mobile phone on the day of the killing which recorded parts of an exchange between Wadsworth and Ms Belshaw.

He said: “It is obvious they were intoxicated. The atmosphere was unhappy. It is obvious he has her telephone and his tone is one of command. She appears to want him to leave. Within hours, she was dead.”

Wadsworth denies the murder of Ms Belshaw, the attempted murder of Mr Bristow and a third charge of making threats to kill.

The trial continues.

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