University of Suffolk lecturer's husband told neighbour 'I think I've killed my wife', court hears

Dr Antonella Castelvedere.
Credit: University of Suffolk
Antonella Castelvedere was stabbed to death at her home in Colchester. Credit: University of Suffolk

The husband of a university lecturer told a neighbour ‘I think I’ve killed my wife’, a court has heard.

Ertan Ersoy was holding his stomach and his shirt was “soaked in blood”, neighbour Tanja Munro told Chelmsford Crown Court, where the 51-year-old is on trial accused of his wife’s murder.

Ersoy’s wife Dr Antonella Castelvedere, 52, was found stabbed to death on the kitchen floor at the couple’s home in Colchester, Essex, on 1 June last year.

Their neighbour Mrs Munro told jurors on Wednesday that she was at home when she heard a male voice shouting.

She said she went outside to investigate and was told by a man, who she later learned was the father of another neighbour, that someone was hurt.

She said she saw Ersoy, who also worked as a university lecturer, in his hallway holding his stomach and that his shirt was “soaked in blood”.

“He told me, ‘I think I’ve killed my wife’,” she said. “He was gesturing and looking towards the kitchen.”

Mrs Munro said the kitchen door was not fully open but that she could see “someone was lying on the floor”.

She said Ersoy was “breathing like he was in pain” and was “groaning”, adding: “He was concerned about his wife.

“He said ‘my wife, my wife’ and did say that a few times.”

Dr Castelvedere was found at her home in Wickham Road, Colchester. Credit: Essex Police

She said the wounds to Ersoy’s stomach “weren’t gaping open, they were quite clean, there wasn’t blood pumping or gushing out”.

She said she took a cushion to try to stem the bleeding before going into the kitchen.

Mrs Munro said Dr Castelvedere was on the floor with a knife “close to her hand by her head” and in a pool of blood.

“It was behind her head and her shoulders,” she said. “It was almost like a halo of blood behind her on the floor.”

She said she knelt beside Dr Castelvedere and tapped her face to try to rouse her, then performed CPR.

She said the top that Dr Castelvedere had been wearing appeared clean, and did not immediately notice a cut to her neck.

“I was doing chest compressions and I started to hear sounds coming from her,” Mrs Munro said. “At first I didn’t know where they were coming from but then I noticed they were coming from her throat area.”

She continued: “I couldn’t understand where all that blood was coming from as I couldn’t obviously see an injury or any kind of wound that was producing this blood.”

She said she stopped when she felt she “wasn’t able to do any more for Antonella” and went and knelt beside Ersoy.

“He asked ‘my wife?’ as a question,” she said.

“I took that to mean ‘is my wife OK?' I just shook my head at that point. We didn’t speak about anything else.”

She agreed with Sarah Elliott KC, defending, that her witness statement said Ersoy had appeared a “bit disorientated”, and that he was not aggressive towards her and she did not feel threatened.

Christopher Paxton KC, prosecuting, said Ersoy stabbed Dr Castelvedere “many times, causing 15 areas of sharp force injury” to her face, neck, upper chest and to both hands.

He said one of the stab wounds to Dr Castelvedere, on her neck, measured 15cm in length and was 7cm deep and “resulted in severe blood loss, cardiac arrest and her death”.

Dr Castelvedere was a lecturer at the University of Suffolk teaching an MA in English and creative writing.

The prosecutor said the defendant was taken to hospital and treated for “two shallow wounds to his stomach which he claimed she had caused”.

He said jurors “need to be cautious about any suggestion made by the defendant that Antonella caused those two shallow wounds” and that there was “no independent evidence that she did”.

Ersoy denies murder. He has pleaded guilty to manslaughter.

The trial continues.

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