A spurned husband bludgeoned his wife to death with an ornamental ELEPHANT after she asked him for a divorce, a court heard.
Devendra Singh, 33, is accused of killing attractive Charlotte Smith, 42, in a brutal attack on September 3 last year.
Stafford Crown Court heard Singh flew into a rage and battered his wife of three years with the 2kg (4lbs) wooden object following an argument at their home.
Singh caused horrific injuries to his victim after he rained down heavy blows with ‘extreme force and extreme violence’.
Charlotte’s skull was repeatedly ‘smashed and shattered’ and the level of violence used was ‘off the scale’, jurors were told.
Singh admits killing his wife but denies murder on the basis he suffered a ‘loss of control’.
Opening the case Philip Bennetts QC said the attack occurred at the couple’s home in Laddeedge, near Leek, Staffs., after Charlotte became unhappy with their relationship and had asked for a divorce.
Mr Bennetts said: “Miss Smith died as a result of sustained and extreme blunt force trauma.
“Many of the blows were delivered with a heavy implement – an ornamental elephant which the defendant picked up and used to strike her repeatedly to the face and head.
“Bone was smashed and shattered time and time again.
“The amount of force used was effectively off the scale.
“It was beyond severe – it was extreme.”
Following the attack, he is accused of leaving Charlotte’s body on the lounge floor and leaving the house, taking her mobile phone SIM card with him.
The court heard he cleaned up and threw evidence – including the wooden elephant – over the garden fence into a field before fleeing to London.
He is then said to have put Charlotte’s SIM into his own phone and sent text messages to Charlotte’s family and friends – including her father – pretending to be her.
Singh returned to Leek that same day and handed himself in to police.
Giving evidence dad Peter, 65, recalled how the couple had lunch at his home on September 2 – just a day before Charlotte was killed.
He told the court he that he ‘got on well’ with Singh during his four-year relationship with his daughter, who worked as a health and safety environmental manager.
Mr Smith told the court: “We had a really great time.
“We were talking about holidays and parties.
“When they left everything was OK. We were planning to go on holiday to Goa in November.”
The next day he called by her house and discovered his daughter’s bloodied body on the lounge floor.
He added: “I drove past and she hadn’t put the bins out. I thought I would stop and see if she was OK, and put them out.”
The court heard Charlotte had met Singh during a previous holiday with her father in Goa, India, in 2008.
They began a relationship and married in Goa in December 2010, and Singh – after a wait to obtain a visa – moved to the UK.
The court heard Charlotte moved him into her Staffordshire home, and her family opened a town centre shop for him to run when he could not find work.
But prosecutors say by last summer the relationship was failing, and Singh was prone to heavy drinking and aggression.
Mr Smith said: “Charlotte wasn’t happy in the situation.
“She said she was finding it difficult living with someone.
“I saw the end was coming.”
The trial, which is expected to last another week, continues.