A JURY have been sent out to deliberate on their verdict in the trial of a man who strangled his wife to death.

Stuart Robertson, 69, is accused of murdering wife Dawn at their home on Cannon Street, Clock Face, on November 15 last year.

There were 11 members of the jury present at Liverpool Crown Court this morning, Wednesday, eight women and three men, with one having been discharged after having tested positive for Covid.

Judge Andrew Menary KC reviewed the evidence jurors have heard in the trial, which started last Tuesday (May 14) before sending the jury to deliberate.

Roberston had told the court giving evidence last week that he snapped after his wife had said he was not their son’s dad.

The jury had heard that there was a long history of police call outs to the St Helens home of Stuart and Dawn Robertson following arguments but mostly resulting in no action being taken and she was warned about making malicious complaints.

Tee-total Robertson has admitted to manslaughter of his wife, who the court was told was an alcoholic, but denies murder.

The jury heard that the death of the 62-year old mum-of-two came to light when the defendant walked into St Helens police station a few hours later and confessed.

St Helens Star: The trial began last week at Liverpool Crown CourtThe trial began last week at Liverpool Crown Court (Image: Stock)

Robertson, a retired warehouse manager, said that the incident happened after his wife asked him to get her £500 from her bank account.

She was angry that a £500 winter fuel payment had not yet landed in his account and said he had to put it in her account when it did.

He said that Dawn, who was his second wife, used to drink two to two and a half bottles of brandy every day, spending £52 on four bottles at a time, and would start drinking as soon as she got up in the mornings.

On the fatal day when he returned after getting the cash at 12.20 pm from Morrison’s he said that Dawn, whom he described as “really nice” when she was sober, was still sitting in the living room in a chair with a glass in her hand.

He said she told him he was “worthless, useless, a piece of s***t… you’re not worth a penny.”

Robertson had said giving evidence: “My hands were at my side. She said, ‘You’re nothing but a f*****g slave to me, you live here because I let you. You will do exactly what I say, have you f*****g got me?’”

He said he told her he was going to the home of their son, Michael, which he did when things escalated between the couple.

His wife then said, "Why the f*** are you going round there again? He’s not even your f****** son", which she had never said to him before.

“At that moment in time, yes,” he replied.

He added that lots of “jumbled up things” were going through his mind including that she had lied to him for 36 years.

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He said: “I turned round and said ‘shut the f*** up, you f****** bitch" and as I did my hands went up around her neck. We stumbled backwards, I believe we ended up on the chair and I squoze and the next thing I knew she was dead.”

He said he believed he squeezed her neck for two minutes and then pushed himself up and said to himself, "You stupid b….d. What have you done?" He broke down in tears as he said, “I was panicking. I didn’t know what to do”

“I looked at Dawn and I thought she needs to be more comfortable and I moved her. I attempted to lift her under her back and knees but she was a dead weight and I couldn’t so I gripped her leg and arm and dragged her to where she was found by the police.

“I put a pillow under her head and put a crucifix in her hand as we were both religious, her more so than me.”

debating whether to go to the railway station or police station so I decided I would have a cup of tea and make my choice.”

He went to a Costa and thought about getting a train to Liverpool and getting a ferry to Ireland but realised there was too much CCTV and his debit card would be traced whenever he used it.

He cried as he told how he decided to go to the police station, adding: “I felt disgusted. I broke every rule I believe in as a human being. I had no right to do it. “

Under interview, Robertson gave a prepared statement in which he accepted killing his wife but said he had "simply lost control".

Jury retires to consider verdict

Reviewing the evidence this morning, judge Menary said a psychiatrist’s findings had said that Roberston had “suffered significant psychological harm” from “domestic abuse”.

The jury was told that Roberston’s recollection of Dawn telling him Michael was not his son had come in a “flashback” in bed in early May, months after her death.

Judge Menary said the prosecution has claimed this is a “late” addition to “support his defence” while the defendant says it is “genuine and belated” and emerged during a flashback”.

The judge said that during the trial a doctor had said “amnesia” can occur and that “traumatic memories” are a “common factor in violent offences, including what might called ‘crimes of passion’ involving intense emotional arousal”.

Judge Menary outlined how a doctor “couldn’t say one way or another” whether Roberston had remembered this or “made it up”, adding “that is a matter for you (the jury)”.

The judge told the jury that all 11 of them must agree unanimously on a verdict.

They were sent out to begin deliberations at around noon.

The trial continues.