Alleged murder victim previously called police after row with husband

Stephen Searle Picture: CONTRIBUTED

Stephen Searle Picture: CONTRIBUTED - Credit: Archant

A Stowmarket woman who was allegedly murdered by her husband called the police following a row several months before her death, a court has heard.

Anne Searle made the late evening call on August 24 last year but when a police officer got to the house in Brickfields, Stowmarket, she was unable to rouse her despite banging on the window for several minutes.

The officer could see Mrs Searle asleep on a sofa and had left after watching her for several minutes to check that she was alright, prosecutor Andrew Jackson told Ipswich Crown Court.

When two officers returned to the house the following day for a welfare check Mrs Searle told them she’d been drinking the previous night and couldn’t remember calling the police.

Pc Nicholas Kegge said Mrs Searle told them she believed her husband was having an affair after finding messages on his phone and they had a verbal argument.

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Pc Sally Parker said Mrs Searle had shown her the messages.

“I can’t remember the messages but I can remember thinking she had a point,” said the officer.

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She added that Mrs Searle said she hadn’t been assaulted by her husband the previous evening.

Before the court is former UKIP councillor Stephen Searle, of Brickfields, Stowmarket, who has denied murder.

The court has heard that Searle dialled 999 on December 30 last year and admitted killing his wife.

It is alleged he murdered her after she discovered he was having an affair with their daughter-in-law Anastasia Pomiateeva.

It has also been alleged that as a former Royal Marine Searle was trained in unarmed combat and could have used a particular way of killing someone called a “chokehold” to kill his wife.

The court heard that Searle had started a sexual relationship with Miss Pomiateeva in April 2017 and his wife had found out about it several months later in June.

After his arrest, Searle said his wife had tried to stab him with a steak knife.

He told police he had grabbed the knife and they had stumbled over.

“I was in fear for my life and during the struggle this terrible accident happened,” he said.

The trial continues.

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