A jury has been handed the dented and bloodstained saucepan with which airline pilot Andrew McIntosh smashed his estranged wife to her head and face in the kitchen of her Knightcote home.
The jury at Warwick Crown Court heard that McIntosh also punched, kicked and stamped on his wife Patricia before leaving her dead in a pool of blood on the kitchen floor.
The attack had been motivated by her refusal to drop the asking price of their former matrimonial home, Grass Yard, near Gaydon, where she was still living.
McIntosh, 54, who was living in a cottage at Woolscott Manor in Rugby, has pleaded not guilty to her murder in November last year, and the jury has heard his defence is that he was suffering from diminished responsibility.
Prosecutor Peter Grieves-Smith said the police had been alerted by McIntosh’s best friend Robert Gray, to whom he had sent text messages in the aftermath of the killing.
In one he wrote: “Please mate, forgive me, I’ve done the unthinkable.”
He then sent a message to Mr Gray’s partner Suzie Groves telling her: “I’ve just murdered Trish in a rage and am just waiting for the police to arrive.”
In a statement, Ms Groves said she had known McIntosh for about 30 years through Mr Gray, and that the two men were best friends and ‘lately they would speak on the phone daily.’
Ms Groves, who lives with Mr Gray in Suffolk, said: “I know he has been struggling lately with depression through going through divorce proceedings with his second wife Trish.
“On that day he and Robert began exchanging text messages, and Robert became alarmed.
“Andy wound not answer the telephone when Robert tried to call him. This was even more concerning because Andy had recently threatened to commit suicide.”
Following the texts about the killing, Mr Gray contacted the police who went to the house in Knightcote.
The jury heard that even though McIntosh had pulled down the kitchen blind before leaving, two officers who looked through the window could see Patricia’s body lying on the floor.
In their statements they said that when they went inside there was ‘a lot of blood,’ with ‘significant pooling of blood on the floor around her head,’ splatters on the kitchen cupboards, walls, and even on the ceiling.
Patricia’s face was covered in blood, and her hair was matted and thick with blood.
There was also water over the floor and peas around her body from the saucepan with which McIntosh said he had ‘smashed her,’ and which he had then put back on the cooker before leaving.
The jury were then handed the medium-sized black saucepan inside a plastic exhibits bag, which they were warned not to open as they passed it round to examine individually.
As they did so, Mr Grieves-Smith described how the dented and ‘misshapen’ saucepan was bloodstained, with some of Patricia’s hair stuck to it in the blood.
The court also heard from Home Office forensic pathologist Alexander Kolar, who highlighted 34 external injuries to Patricia’s body, including a fractured nose and significant bruising.
She also suffered bleeding behind one of the coverings of her brain.
He suggested she died relatively quickly after sustaining this injury.
The trial continues.