The jury has retired to consider its verdict in a murder trial after a woman was stabbed to death by her estranged husband.

Harry Turner admits stabbing the 50-year-old almost 70 times in a frenzied attack but denies that he murdered the mother-of-four.

Newcastle Crown Court heard the closing speeches of prosecution and defence barristers before the judge, Mrs Justice Lambert, summed up the evidence.

During the trial, jurors 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’.

The Northern Echo: Sally TurnerSally Turner

Craig Hassall KC, prosecuting, said it took almost 70 blows to subdue Mrs Turner but at no point after his arrest did he mention he had ‘lost control’ until he mentioned it in his defence statement.

He added: “You have heard no evidence that he has suffered a loss of control. He has chosen to say no such thing about what happened.”

The defendant maintains that he lost control when Mrs Turner whispered ‘you will never see the girls again’ referring to his granddaughters - the couple were the legal guardians of the two young children.

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

“I don’t remember anything after that.”

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

Andrew Ford KC, representing Turner, urged the jury to focus on his client’s loss of control when he heard his estranged wife’s whispered threat inside her daughter's home on Cuthbert Avenue, Durham, on June 22, 2022.

He said: “It was an extraordinary attack, irrational, out of character and not in keeping with what was said about his personality.

“It makes it a pertinent question for you about whether he was in control.”

The barrister added: “Yes, it was an extreme reaction but would stress to you, it wasn’t a controlled one.”

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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.