A husband used a chain, a rolling pin and a hair bobble to strangle his wife – before inflicting injuries on himself to make it look like she had attacked him, a court heard.
Stephen Barnsdale-Quean, aged 42, is said to have rigged up a homemade ligature to murder wife Chantelle, the mother of his two young daughters.
Sheffield Crown Court heard he then took a small knife to himself to cause several ‘superficial’ wounds, before standing over Chantelle’s body and smearing her with his blood.
Chantelle, aged 35, was found dead in the bedroom of the family home in March last year.
She and her husband had bought the chain together only days earlier at a DIY store, to hang a poster in the living room of their flat.
Michael Slater, prosecuting, told the court: “The crown will argue he killed her by tightening a ligature around her neck until she was dead, using a chain secured by an elastic hair bobble and rolling pin.
“Once he had done this he gave himself injuries to create an impression he had been attacked.”
The jury is set to hear evidence from Carl Johnson, the paramedic first on the scene.
He found Barnsdale-Quean lying face down on the living room floor at the family’s flat in Upperwood Road, Darfield, Barnsley, surrounded by his children’s toys.
Mr Slater said: “The paramedic found injuries on his left arm which to him at first seemed consistent with self-harm.”
The defendant says he was asleep on the sofa when he was subjected to a ‘frenzied’ knife attack by his wife.
As he was taken to Barnsley District Hospital to be treated for his injuries, Barnsdale-Quean told police he had no knowledge of the circumstances of Chantelle’s death.
He told officers he was ‘mortified’ when he was arrested on suspicion of Chanetelle’s murder in the back of an ambulance.
The defence is expected to argue that Chantelle, a pensions worker, took her own life after attacking her husband.
Barnsdale-Quean denies murder.
The couple got together in 1996 and moved down south before returning to their native South Yorkshire and marrying in 2003.
They worked together for the Department of Work and Pensions in Barnsley, and lived at Springfield Crescent before moving to Upperwood Road.
Medical experts and crime scene investigators are expected to give evidence this week.
The trial continues.