A FORMER professional cage fighter has been found guilty of the murder of his ex-girlfriend in Billinge.

Violent criminal Andrew Wadsworth, 37, stabbed to death beautician Melissa Belshaw, 32, two months after he came out of prison consumed by an obsession about her sex life.

Fuelled by cocaine and alcohol, Wadsworth subjected Ms Belshaw to a prolonged attack in her bedroom.

A passer-by bravely rescued Ms Belshaw's 13-year-old daughter by smashing into the house in Billinge with a hammer before Wadsworth came outside and chased a stranger who he pinned to the ground and knifed repeatedly before police intervened.

A jury at Manchester Crown Court on Wednesday found the defendant guilty of murder and attempted murder.

He was cleared of making a threat to kill against Ms Belshaw's daughter.

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The trial heard Wadsworth, of Cranfield Road, Wigan, regularly accused Ms Belshaw from September 2019 of cheating on him, including by working as a prostitute.

She denied getting paid for sex but days before her murder on May 20, she admitted she had a "sugar daddy" who paid her £1,200 per week.

Wadsworth admitted stabbing Ms Belshaw at her home on Upholland Road but relied on a partial defence to murder of a loss of control by what he claimed she had said to him shortly before the stabbing.

St Helens Star:

A floral tribute left to Melissa on Upholland Road

He said he was "humiliated and betrayed" by what he said were shock revelations from her about being a prostitute since their relationship began in March 2018 while she had "cried poverty" to him.

Wadsworth said Ms Belshaw went on to tell him she had sex with two of her relatives, a police officer and also engaged in sex parties with people he knew.

Another revelation, he said, was that she helped set up a robbery in which he was injured.

Tim Storrie QC, prosecuting, said the so-called revelations were merely "recycled accusations" and amounted to a character assassination of Ms Belshaw in an attempt to shift the blame.

Wadsworth came out of prison on licence in November 2017 following convictions in 2011 for robbery, possessing a firearm with intent to cause fear or violence, aggravated burglary and causing grievous bodily harm with intent.

He was recalled in January 2019 after a positive test for cocaine and was then released again on March 4 this year following a parole board hearing.

Wadsworth was sent to live at an approved hostel but was allowed to move to his mother's address just a fortnight later because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The trial heard how van driver Kevin Moores, 40, heard the voice of a distressed girl from the bedroom of a house in Upholland Road on the afternoon of May 20.

He broke a window at the side of the front door and carried Ms Belshaw's daughter to safety while Wadsworth paced upstairs.

Mr Moores later kicked knife-wielding Wadsworth on the leg while he was on top of Ms Belshaw's neighbour, Gerard Bristow, who then managed to break free.

Wadsworth will be sentenced on Thursday at 10.30am.