A LOVE-cheat whose husband was killed by her toyboy wept in court as she tried to recall the night of the fatal clash.

Sarah Jackson told a jury that her memory of the night was "patchy" because of how much she had to drink that day in April.

The former accounts manager at a Middlesbrough car dealership admitted having at least two affairs while she was married to Andrew Jackson.

Day One at Court: Killer was having affair with victim's wife

Mr Jackson, 43, died two days after being "gratuitously" assaulted by Cohnor Coleman, 24, Teesside Crown Court was told.

The Northern Echo:
Andrew Jackson, who died in the attack

His wife, 38, was involved in a quick-fire grilling from defence QC Cairns Nelson during which she denied a number of claims.

The mother-of-two, wearing a black zipped blouse and dark grey jeans, and rings on her wedding finger, was accused of:

  • promising to move in with her young lover;
  • having no thought for the feelings of others;
  • "playing" both Coleman and her husband;
  • "snogging" another man in front of them both.

Mrs Jackson - one of the best friends of Coleman's mother - was forced to defend her reputation during the cross-examination.

She said the fling with Coleman - who used to babysit for her - developed from being "flirty banter" but was not serious.

Sobbing in the witness box, Mrs Jackson she had only "small snippets of memory" of the fatal night in Richmond, North Yorkshire.

But she admitted following Coleman after the assault, and leaving her husband lying in the doorway of the Georgian Theatre.

She said: "I remember I was pushing Cohnor and saying to him 'enough'. I am not sure if he was kicking or punching Andrew.

"I can't place where Andrew was, he is not in my mind's eye. The next thing I remember is walking away and following Cohnor.

"Cohnor seemed really agitated and really het up, angry, kind of really full of himself - just like he was really big and tough, cocky."

Mr Nelson asked her: "Your husband was lying on the ground, and this man, who means nothing to you, is being cocky and arrogant. Why did you follow him?"

She replied: "I don't remember seeing Andrew on the floor."

Mr Nelson continued: "This is obviously not a court of morals, all right, so we all agree about that.

"What we are concerned about are the circumstances in which your husband came to meet his death and the circumstances of how the defendant delivered the blows.

"The relationship [with Coleman] meant nothing to you?"

Mrs Jackson began to answer carefully and slowly: "It wasn't a meaningful, loving . . ."

The QC interrupted: "It meant nothing to you?"

She replied: "Not in the feelings respect, not in the running off into the sunset. It was what it was."

The Northern Echo:

Cohnor Coleman who is standing trial

Asked whether she told Coleman that her marriage was over, she said: "No I didn't know what was happening to my marriage, Andrew and I didn't know what was happening, we had various problems.

"We decided that on the coming Sunday night we were going to sit and talk about what to do and where we wanted to be."

Mr Nelson said: "You were telling this young man, who is 14 or 15 years younger than you, that you wanted to move in with him weren't you?"

"No," she replied.

"That you were thinking of moving to Stockton with him?"

She answered: "I was thinking of moving to Stockton on my own with the children because it was nearer work."

Mr Nelson went on: "You were professing your love for him, weren't you?"

The barrister asked: "You know what I mean by the phrase 'playing' someone. Did you play Cohnor Coleman?" Mrs Jackson replied "no".

He said: "Do you think you played your husband?" Again, she replied: "no".

Mr Nelson asked her about an incident the previous week, on April 18, when Coleman punched a door at The Cavern in fury because he was jealous of the attention she was paying another man.

He said: "You were snogging a bloke in the bar were you not? You did it in front of Cohnor Coleman, who you were having an affair with."

She replied: "I was talking to him, I cannot remember kissing him."

Mr Nelson asked her: "Do you think of the effects of your actions on other people Mrs Jackson? Do you?"

She replied quietly: "Yes I do."

It emerged that her lover Coleman is the son of Caroline Dryden, one of her best friends, but the pair conspired to keep their relationship a secret from both Ms Dryden and Mr Jackson.

A week before the former golf club pro was killed, his wife brought Coleman back to her family home, following the incident when he punched the door in a jealous rage.

As Mrs Jackson heated food and made drinks in the kitchen, her lover and husband were left in the living room - with Coleman's mother and his ex-girlfriend.

Mrs Jackson said the two men had words, the younger one left the house in fury and later said he wanted to knock out his love rival.

The court had earlier heard that Coleman attacked Mr Jackson "like a cage fighter" leaving him unconscious and with such severe head injuries he died two days later.

As he lay bleeding in front of him, Coleman was said to have crowed: "You're not such a big man now."

Mr Jackson, an HGV driver, was said to have been unaware of his wife's infidelity and was satisfied with her denials when he raised suspicions.

Mr Nelson asked Mrs Jackson: "You tell us how this episode of violence, which resulted in the untimely death of Andrew Jackson, started. You were there."

She answered: "I have no idea."

Coleman, of Cookson Way, Brough with St Giles, near Catterick, denies a charge of murder, and the trial is expected to continue into next week.