Tourniquet killed South Yorkshire mother

Chantelle Barnsdale-Quean, who was murdered in Barnsley
Chantelle Barnsdale-Quean, who was murdered in Barnsley

A mum-of-two found dead at her home in Barnsley died from compression of the neck, a court heard.

Chantelle Barnsdale-Quean, aged 35, was found semi clothed on the bed at the home she shared with husband Stephen, aged 42.

He is accused of using a chain, a hair bobble and a rolling pin to make a tourniquet or ‘Spanish Windlass’ arrangement to throttle her – and then trying to make it look as if she had committed suicide.

Forensic pathologist Dr Naomi Carter said she was asked to attend the couple’s property in Upperwood Road, Darfield, at 4.27pm on March 4.

She said she found Mrs Barnsdale-Quean in a bedroom lying on her back on the bed.

“Secured around her neck was a black, small, linked chain pressing into the neck, secured by what appeared to be a wooden rolling pin. There were several twists in the chain - it was a Spanish Windlass arrangement or tourniquet.”

Asked how she’d died, Dr Carter said: “In my opinion Chantelle Barnsdale-Quean died from compression of the neck, in other words linked to strangulation.”

She said the rolling pin, which had Mr Barnsdale-Quean’s blood on it, had been attached to the chain using the hair band, and turned in order to increase pressure on the neck and cut off the blood supply.

Asked if she could say whether the ligature represented homicide or suicide, Dr Carter said: “In terms of pathology, no. It could be consistent with either.”

She added: “The Spanish Windlass is described in pathology text books as a means of homicide, or an unusual means of suicide.”

Barnsdale-Quean denies murdering his wife and claims she attacked him with a knife and must have killed herself afterwards.

Forensic scientist Liz Harris told the jury that drops of blood found on the body were consistent with having being dripped on to her as she was lying down.

The trial continues.