A man strangled his wife with a length of washing line during a sex game after accusing her of having an affair, a court has heard.

Norman Heaton, 32, throttled mother-of-three Jacqueline Heaton before hiding her body under the stairs at their maisonette.

Newcastle Crown Court heard that the couple had been due to split up on the day of her death after a series of rows.

Mr Heaton told police that his wife had "wanted it one more time" but that the neck grip had been too tight and he accidentally killed her.

Paul Sloan QC, prosecuting, told the court that the pair had been married since March 1997 and had two sons together, now aged seven and three.

They had met in August 1994 and Mrs Heaton already had a daughter, now 11, from a previous relationship.

Mr Sloan told the court that the couple, who had recently moved from Crook, in County Durham, had enjoyed an "adventurous" sex life.

They photographed and filmed each other in states of undress while engaging in sexual acts, indoors and out.

But the prosecution said that Mr Heaton used his wife's fondness for bondage and asphyxiation to strangle her.

The court heard that Mr Heaton had feared that he would not be allowed to stay in touch with his sons if they had split. Mr Heaton had hatched a plot to abduct the two boys and on the night before her death had penned a hateful letter to his wife.

An extract read: "Revenge is sweet and I am going to get plenty of revenge, plenty."

Mr Sloan said that Mr Heaton, of Anderson Street, South Shields, had tried to convince police that the break-up had been friendly.

But he said that the split was far from an amicable parting and added: "It was no coincidence that Jacqueline, Mr Heaton, just happened to die on the very day she and the defendant were due to split."

Mr Heaton had been convinced that his wife was having an affair with someone she worked with at the Mecca bingo hall in Dean Road, South Shields.

Mr Heaton was arrested, police raided the family home and found Mrs Heaton's body in a cupboard.

He was found with a hold-all containing pornographic photographs and videos of himself and Mrs Heaton.

A Home Office pathologist examined the body and concluded that "considerable force" would have been needed to result in death.

The court heard that Mr Heaton made no attempt to resustitate his wife or contact the emergency services.

Mr Sloan said: "He did neither because this was not an accident, this was a deliberate, intentional killing by the defendant."

Mr Heaton denies murder and the trial continues.