Former professional cage fighter stabbed Wigan beautician to death, court told

Andrew Wadsworth is alleged to have stabbed Melissa Belshaw, 32, to death. Credit: MEN Media

A former professional cage fighter stabbed a beautician to death in her home before he went into the street and knifed a stranger, a court has heard.

Andrew Wadsworth, 37, is said to have subjected Melissa Belshaw, 32, to a "prolonged, remorseless attack" and then left her in the corner of an upstairs room underneath clothing.

Wadsworth, who had been released on licence from prison, also allegedly threatened to kill Ms Belshaw's 13-year-old daughter with a knife to her throat before a passer-by heard her cries of distress and smashed open the front door to rescue her.

The teenager had earlier bravely raised the alarm by calling police from inside the property before her phone battery ran out.

Still armed and dangerous, the defendant later came out of the terrace house in Billinge, Wigan, and pinned a neighbour to the floor and repeatedly stabbed him, Manchester Crown Court heard.

Prosecutor Tim Storrie QC told jurors they may find only the timely arrival of police saved the man's life as the defendant surrendered when an officer deployed a Taser and he was taken into custody.

Attempts were made by emergency services to revive Ms Belshaw, but she was pronounced dead at the scene in Upholland Road on the afternoon of May 20.

A post-mortem examination revealed she sustained a series of "devastating" stab wounds delivered with severe force and had bruising around her upper body consistent with being manhandled, the court heard.

Mr Storrie said Wadsworth and Ms Belshaw had rowed the night before at her home after taking cocaine and drinking alcohol.

Their relationship could be described as "volatile and dependent on a mutual or common interest in drink, drugs and sex", jurors were told.

Wadsworth accepted during police interviews that he killed Ms Belshaw but claimed he lost his temper and stabbed her within a minute of what he said were "shock" disclosures from her about her sex life, and a set-up arranged by her in which he was robbed and injured.

Mr Storrie said the defendant was relying on a partial defence of loss of control.

He told jurors: "In response it is important for you to know that the prosecution contends that, even if true, these claims do not amount to a sufficient basis for claiming he justifiably lost control of himself."

Wadsworth, of Cranfield Road, Wigan, denies murder, attempted murder and making a threat to kill