A neighbour has described the bloody scene she faced after forcing her way into a house where a woman was stabbed to death by her estranged husband.

Sally Turner suffered almost 70 blows when she was killed by her husband inside her daughter’s County Durham home.

The 50-year-old was found collapsed behind the door of the house when she failed to pick up her disabled granddaughter when she was dropped off from school by taxi.

Newcastle Crown Court heard how Mrs Turner was having an affair with her granddaughter’s taxi driver, Philip Smith, who sent he a sexually explicit message in the hours leading up to her death.

The Northern Echo: Sally TurnerSally Turner

Sammy Jo College, who was a neighbour of Mrs Turner’s daughter, said she had to push her way into the house where she discovered her in a pool of blood with a wedding ring beside her.

In a pre-recorded police interview, she said: “I got through the door and that’s when I noticed the blood, she was just lying face down.

“I have got down on my hands and knees. I have moved her head and the blood was starting to pool.

“That’s when I went to get a tea towel to try and stem the flow.”

The Northern Echo: Police at the scene of the incident on Cuthbert Avenue, DurhamPolice at the scene of the incident on Cuthbert Avenue, Durham (Image: Newsquest)

Miss College told the police that she had seen Turner arrive at the house on the morning of the alleged murder and had been living at the house on Cuthbert Avenue, Durham, for a couple of weeks.

Mrs Turner’s daughter Ronnie told police how Turner messaged her to tell her where he was and she ‘stormed off’ to find him.

During a police interview, she said her step-father was standing at the rear of the nearby Iceland store and said - ‘what have you done?’.

She added: “The first thing he said to me when I got to him was – ‘get the police, get the police’.”

The postman was arrested at the scene shortly afterwards.

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Home Office pathologist Dr Louise Mulcahy told the court that Mrs Turner’s cause of death was multiple stab wounds to the neck and torso.

Jurors had heard how mother-of-four suffered 78 wounds, including defence injuries, from at least 68 knife blows with the deepest being 11cm deep and one was so powerful that it broke her shoulder blade while another broke one of her ribs.

The 55-year-old Turner, of Tiree Close, Brandon, has pleaded not guilty to murder but guilty to manslaughter.

The trial continues.