Cage fighter attacked neighbour after killing ex-girlfriend, court told

Melissa Belshaw

A neighbour of a beautician stabbed to death by her cage fighter ex-boyfriend has told a jury her assailant intended to kill him.

Shortly before, Andrew Wadsworth, 37, knifed beautician Melissa Belshaw, 32, in a "prolonged, remorseless attack" in the front bedroom of her home in Billinge, Wigan, on the afternoon of May 20.

Ms Belshaw's terrified 13-year-old daughter cried for help from the locked terrace house and a passer-by used a hammer to smash a front door window and pull the teenager to safety, Manchester Crown Court heard.

Melissa Belshaw

Neighbour Gerard Bristow joined the passer-by, van driver Kevin Moores, outside as Wadsworth remained inside the property in Upholland Road.

Wadsworth, said to have been released days earlier from prison, later climbed through the broken window and "guzzled" a can of Coke left on a wall.

Stood a distance away, Mr Bristow, 46, told the court he asked the defendant a couple of times whether the woman inside the house was OK.

He said: "His answer on the second or third time was 'all I want to know is where is the Scouser next door?"'

Mr Bristow had told police the body language of Wadsworth, who he had never met, suggested he had been drinking or taken drugs and he thought he did not pose a threat.

But he said "within a heartbeat", Wadsworth ran towards him and pulled out a large knife as he back-pedalled in his flip-flops and tumbled to the floor, with the defendant stabbing at him.

Giving evidence, he said:

I think he launched at me because I was asking questions. I think the reason he did not pose a great threat was because I had a guy next to me with a hammer.

Gerard Bristow

Andrew O'Byrne QC, cross-examining, said: "You told the police you thought he intended to kill you."

Mr Bristow said: "Yes, once I fell on the ground and he continued to stab at my head and chest."

Mr O'Byrne said:

It is clear that either he intended to cause you serious injury or, if you are right, he intended to kill you.

Andrew O'Byrne QC, defending

Mr Bristow replied: "Yes, I would say to kill me."

Tim Storrie QC, prosecuting, asked:

Was there any moment when you thought he was about to stop?

Tim Storrie QC, prosecuting

The witness said: "No."

The court has heard Mr Bristow managed to break free when Mr Moores kicked Wadsworth on the leg.

Wadsworth dropped his weapon when confronted by police, who also deployed a Taser but did not use it as the defendant was arrested.

The ex-professional mixed martial arts fighter accepts 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.

Wadsworth, of Cranfield Road, Wigan, is relying on a partial defence of loss of control, the jury has been told. He denies murder, the attempted murder of Mr Bristow and making a threat to kill against Ms Belshaw's daughter.