A husband smothered his wife to death after she told him he was a flop in bed.

Kevin McNally, 48, was still holding a cushion over 42-year-old Alison McNally's face when paramedics arrived at their Gateshead home on November 27 last year.

Newcastle Crown Court heard how the couple, who had been married for 23 years, appeared to have a "traditional" marriage and had two children aged 21 and 14.

But in the weeks leading up to the killing McNally had confessed to his sister how the pair had been rowing and things were not well at home.

On the day of the killing McNally called is sister and told her he had "lost it" and said: "I think I've killed her".

When paramedics arrived at the house he initially refused to let them in but they managed to push their way inside.

Prosecutor Ian Graham told the court: "When they got in they found the deceased lying on a sofa behind the door.

"The defendant was kneeling over her.

"He had a cushion in his hands and was still holding the cushion over her face with some considerable force. "Eventually paramedics pursuaded him, using physical force, to desist from this."

McNally was arrested and told police in a prepared statement how his wife had accused him of having a roving eye and had knocked his sexual technique.

Mr Graham told the court; "The defendant referred to having various rows with his wife.

"His wife accused him of having an interest in other women and also referred to his lack of sexual performance.

"He said thereafter he could remember very little but did recall lying down next to her holding her hand.

"He was not able to give any account of what immediately led to the killing or the mechanics of it."

McNally, of Lister Avenue, Greenside, Gateshead, was initially charged with murder but prosecutors accepted his plea to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility after psychiatrists agreed he was suffering from a depressive illness at the time of the killing.

Judge John Milford told the court how experts agree McNally's mental responsibility for the killing would have been substantially diminished due to his condition.

The court heard how since the killing he has tried to take his own life and there is a history of mental illness in his family.

Judge John Milford adjourned the case for 28 days but told McNally he is likely to be sentenced to a hospital order.