A WOMAN who was stabbed to death by her partner was probably attacked suddenly, a crime scene specialist told a court.
Mum Angela Smeaton, 50, died at home after she was stabbed or slashed at least 12 times with a kitchen knife by partner Paul Smart shortly after they attended her brother’s funeral.
Smart is standing trial at Teesside Crown Court where he denies murder.
Yesterday a jury heard from a forensic scientist who examined the scene and said there were no signs the couple had struggled.
Valerie Tomlinson also said from the pattern of blood stains that Ms Smeaton collapsed shortly after being attacked.
Ms Tomlinson said an examination of the aftermath at Eddleston Walk, Hartlepool, showed many items undisturbed.
She said: “There is no evidence of a prolonged upright fight having taken place in that part of the room.
“Items that would be readily disturbed during an assault were still upright. In the breakfast bar there were drinking glasses undisturbed and a beer can had not been knocked over.
“These are all items that would readily be overturned if there had been an extensive or prolonged fight or disturbance between individuals.”
Ms Tomlinson added there was no blood staining to suggest that Ms Smeaton remained standing after she was attacked.
A heavily blood-stained kitchen knife was found near Ms Smeaton’s body in the dining area.
Her clothes and hair were also heavily blood stained, said Ms Tomlinson.
She added: “The distribution of blood and position of the body suggest the only site of the assault had been in the dining room area and Angela Smeaton hadn’t moved around while injured and bleeding.”
A trail of Smart’s blood from a wound to his left hand was found in the kitchen, upstairs and in the living room.
Ms Tomlinson could not say how Smart suffered the injury to the back of two of his fingers, but said they were consistent with being caused by a knife.
Steel worker Smart, of Eddleston Walk, admits killing Ms Smeaton, his partner of 29 years, but claims the defence of loss of self control.
The trial previously heard the couple had been to the funeral of Ms Smeaton’s brother earlier that day and went to a wake at the Hour Glass pub before returning home.
The jury was told Smart has previous convictions for theft and similar matters dating back to 1984, 1985 and 1987.
But he has never been cautioned, charged or reprimanded for any offences involving violence.
Smart will give evidence on Monday.
The trial continues.