The trial of a man accused of murdering his estranged wife when she whispered a threat in his ear is nearing an end.

Harry Turner used two knives to inflict almost 70 injuries on his 50-year-old wife after he says she told him ‘he would never see the girls again’.

Newcastle Crown Court heard how the 55-year-old has already admitted the manslaughter of his wife but maintains that it was the whispered comment which resulted in his ‘loss of control’.

As his trail nears a conclusion, the judge told jurors that they had to be certain that the comment was said and it was the trigger for the fatal incident before considering a ‘loss of control’ defence.

The Northern Echo: Sally TurnerSally Turner

The judge, Mrs Justice Lambert KC, told the jury that they had heard all the evidence in the case before the prosecution and defence barristers deliver their closing speeches as she gave her legal ruling.

Giving evidence, the postman said: “Sally whispered to me ‘you will never see the girls again’.

“I don’t remember anything after that.”

When asked by defence barrister, Andrew Ford KC, what he remembered next. The defendant replied: “The next thing I remember is standing over her and I had a knife in my hand.

“She was laid down on the floor near to the front door.”

Turner told the jury that he was in a ‘daze’ and was still in shock when he was arrested by police after he told his stepdaughter Ronnie Beamish where she could find him.

Under cross examination from prosecuting barrister, Craig Hassall KC, Turner denied that he had made up the claim to after realising the spousal infidelity was not enough for a defence of loss of control.

Mr Hassall asked the defendant why he had made no mention of the whispered threat until the preparation of his defence statement in February last year.

The Northern Echo: Police at the scene of the alleged murder on Cuthbert Avenue, DurhamPolice at the scene of the alleged murder on Cuthbert Avenue, Durham

Turner told the jury that he was acting under instruction from his solicitor when he replied ‘no comment’ during his police interviews.

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Earlier in the trial, jurors heard how Mrs Taylor was having an affair with the taxi driver who took her disabled granddaughter to and from school.

The 50-year-old 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.

Turner, of Tiree Close, Brandon, has pleaded not guilty to murder but guilty to manslaughter.

The murder trial continues.