‘Mutilated’ body of mother-of-four found buried under pile of clothes, trial hears

A man has denied killing his ex-wife after he was accused of leaving her body dumped under a pile of clothes in a sealed room. Russell Marsh told a court he was responsible for the mother-of-four’s death, but said he had no intention of killing her during her murder trial.

Jade Marsh’s “mutilated” body was discovered in a room that had been sealed with a dressing gown cord, Mold Crown Court heard. The 27-year-old was found at her home in Shotton, Flintshire, North Wales, on August 26 last year.

The court heard how Russell Marsh, 29, was filmed by officers at a police station telling them he had ‘done something horrible’ moments before his ex-partner’s body was found found. Marsh, of Chevrons Road in Shotton, denies murder and another count of manslaughter, Wales Reports Online.

READ MORE: Man wielded 12-inch knife at couple and ‘terrified’ daughter after dog attack

Jade, who also used the surname Ward, was pronounced dead at the scene after emergency services responded. A pathology report revealed she suffered multiple injuries ‘all over her body’, including her face and arms, while grip marks left her bruised and there was evidence of injuries “defensive” suffered around the hands showing that she had “made an effort to fight” her attacker.

Marsh was working night shifts for his employer Bio Energy in Ellesmere Port the night Ms Ward was killed, prosecutor Michael Jones QC told the jury. He said the defendant told his supervisor that he had to leave several hours after his shift because his brother had overdosed and had to go to the hospital, a claim the court heard was ” completely false”.

Marsh was tracked by CCTV, ANPR cameras and telephone masts heading towards North Wales and arriving at Shotton’s former family home. The court heard how Marsh ‘controlled’ the relationship, which ended ‘for good’ this summer after they split three times.

Co-op worker Ms Ward allegedly shared a kiss with another man at a post-breakup party and was ‘moving on’ with her life, the court heard. After arriving at the property, Marsh allegedly attacked her with a knife before strangling her and then surrendering to police the following day.

The defendant told officers his wife was upstairs and dead in bed, the court heard. When police forced their way into the property, they found Ms Ward in bloodstained pajamas covered in a pile of clothes. The door was also “secured with a robe cord,” according to the lawsuit.

Mr Jones told the court that the cause of Ms Ward’s death was concluded to be asphyxiation which could only be performed by another person. He added that his body had been “mutilated”.

Today, when questioned in court by his lawyer Christopher Terhani QC, Marsh admitted killing Ms Ward by asphyxiation and had no legitimate reason to do so. However, he denied that he intended to kill or cause serious harm to Ms Ward.

Marsh, dad-of-five, who left school aged 16 with two GCSEs in science and religious studies, confirmed there was a seven-month stretch in 2017 when he was made redundant from work – in a another company – due to poor mental health caused by “pressure and anxiety”. He was medicated during this time.

The defendant also told the court he was in debt of around £30,000 in 2019 following renovations to the house and payment for the wedding between him and Ms Ward. The couple have been together on and off for just over nine years in all. Marsh said they had “difficult times” throughout – more so towards the end of the relationship. He said the couple were “tired” and “drained” and claimed they had “almost nothing” when it came to a physical relationship.

In the summer of 2019, shortly after their wedding, the couple separated for “various reasons”, the court heard, but they later reconciled within days. At the time of the split, Marsh was accused of bruising Ms Ward’s wrists. He said he had “never been violent” with Ms Ward.

Marsh denies murder and another count of manslaughter. The case, heard by Judge Rhys Rowlands and expected to last two weeks, is continuing.

For more information on the latest news, sign up for our email newsletters here