A bank executive on Monday admitted killing his wife with a crowbar after she taunted him as "limp and useless" over his erectile dysfunction.
David Pomphret, 51, bludgeoned his 49-year-old wife, Ann Marie, to death, striking her 30 times over the head at the stables they owned.
Giving evidence in his trial yesterday, the computer expert at Barclays tearfully told how the row began when they had gone to pick up tools to fix their shower.
Described as a "quiet man", Pomphret suffered abuse from his wife, who had depression, was being treated for cancer and had an autistic personality disorder, the jury has heard.
On November 2 last year, the couple went shopping at Asda and then to the stables near their home in Winwick, near Warrington, Cheshire, to check on their horses.
Pomphret – who admits manslaughter but denies murder on the grounds of a temporary loss of control – told his wife while they were at the stables that he needed to pick up tools, including the crowbar, to fix the shower. But he told Liverpool Crown Court that she accused him of "just going to create more s***" before criticising their 18-year-old daughter Megan, who was at a friend’s house.
Pomphret said: "She called Meg a fat slag. Didn’t like the clothes she was wearing. Too short, too revealing. That I was a c*** parent, encouraging Meg to go out on Saturday night, the only reason Meg was going out was for sex."
The former civil servant continued: "She ranted at me for being a bad parent, calling me f****** useless. Called me limp and useless.
"Bit embarrassing – we have been having, I have been having, erectile dysfunction. I was not performing very well. Marie was at this point raging, absolutely raging, finger-pointing, screaming. She then slapped me across the face."
Richard Pratt QC, defending, asked: "Then what happened?"
Pomphret replied: "I remember reaching out, grabbing her hood and... I don’t remember."
Mr Pratt went on: "What’s the next thing you remember?"
Pomphret said: "I was standing at the side of her body. There was blood on my hands and the crowbar. She was on the floor."
He told the jury he had no recollection of attacking his wife with the crowbar.
Mr Pratt continued: "How did you feel, having seen her on the ground?" Pomphret replied: "Awful. I had just killed my wife. I was just... horrified."
He admitted he had "killed the woman I love", adding that this was "a horrible thing to do".
He said he then panicked and "stupidly" decided to try to cover his tracks, burning his bloodied clothes and throwing the crowbar in a pond before returning home.
The couple met on Mrs Pomphret’s 21st birthday and had been "happily married".
But over the course of their 22-year marriage, his wife’s physical and mental health deteriorated, the court heard. Pomphret said she could become "very angry, very quickly". Questioned by Gordon Cole QC, prosecuting, Pomphret admitted he already had a crowbar at the house but said he needed one from the stables as it was more suitable for the job.
Mr Cole suggested that Pomphret had hit her more than 30 times "to make sure she was dead".
"I don’t know, I’m sorry, I cannot answer that," he answered.
Mr Cole put it to him that his responses of "I don’t know, I don’t remember" were ‘all part of this act you are putting on’.