A wife who was bludgeoned to death with an ornamental elephant suffered the worst injuries a senior pathologist had EVER seen, a court heard.
Devendra Singh, 33, battered his wife Charlotte Smith, 42, with the 4lb (2kg) wooden figure after she demanded a divorce.
Stafford Crown Court heard Charlotte’s skull was repeatedly ‘smashed and shattered’ during the attack in which the level of violence used was ‘off the scale’.
Singh admits killing his wife of three years but denies murder on the grounds that he suffered a loss of control.
On Thursday pathologist Olaf Biedrzycki, who examined the body of the health and safety manager, said her injuries were among the worst he had ever seen during his 20-year career.
He told the court Singh must have battered his wife at least 10 times with the ornament and the force used to inflict the devastating injuries was of an ‘extreme nature’.
Several family members sitting in the public gallery fled court in tears and some members of the jury looked visibly upset as Mr Biedrzycki gave evidence.
He told the court: “She had injuries to her neck, arms, chest and legs, but that her head and face had taken the brunt of the attack.
“There were an awful lot of fractures to the front of the skull, and I could feel a lot of fractures to the face.
“The degree of force used to inflict the injuries is of an extreme nature.
“I would consider it beyond the scale we would normally see of mild, moderate and severe.
“It is one of the most severe head injury cases I have come across.
“This is not one or two impacts to the head.
“It is difficult to be sure how many, but if I had to estimate I suspect it would be double figures.”
The court heard Singh flew into a rage after an argument at the couple’s home in Laddeedge, near Leek, Staffs., on September 3 last year after Charlotte became unhappy with their relationship.
Mr Biedrzycki told the jury that injuries to Miss Smith’s arms and hands – which included a broken finger – indicated that she had tried to defend herself from the attack.
He added: “That would be consistent with someone having their hands on their head and trying a defensive action to stop blows to the head.”
Mr Biedrzycki said the injuries were so severe Miss Smith would have only survived for ‘a very short time’.
Jurors were told that Singh told police his wife had attacked him, claiming she pulled his hair, tried to strangle him and brandished a knife.
Photographs taken of the defendant on the day he was arrested showed an abrasion on the bridge of his nose and scratches on his neck.
Under cross-examination by Singh’s barrister, Lee Karu QC, Mr Biedrzycki was asked if the marks were consistent with a struggle.
He replied: “They are all very minor, superficial and essentially quite trivial.
“They might be consistent with minor contact between two people but not any major struggle.”
Following the attack, Singh 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 later that same day and handed himself in to police.
The trial continues.