Newlywed sculptor ‘killed wife of three months with industrial hammer from his workshop after row about decorating’
Angela Phillips is alleged to have been murdered by her husband with an industrial-sized hammer
A row about decorating led to a husband murdering his wife in a row about decorating just three months after they got married, a court has heard.
Thomas Crompton, 39, is on trial over the death of his wife, Angela, after she is believed to have been hit around the head with an industrial-sized hammer he uses for metalwork.
Norwich Crown Court heard that Crompton carried out the gruesome killing in their cottage in Arminghall, Norfolk, before going into his nearby workshop where he confessed to a colleague.
Prosecutor Peter Gair said: ‘Angela told him she was going to start decorating and that she had started to put some of his things into a box.
‘He was concerned his items may be damaged. He said he was really annoyed and that this turned into a massive row.’
Mother-of-three Angela who had children from a previous relationship, was taken to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital after the attack on June 11.
She was moved to Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge, but died two days later from her head injuries.
Bjorn Fiskvatn who was working with Crompton, told how the father-of-two emerged from his house with beads of sweat on his forehead and the blood-stained hammer in his hand.
The Norwegian sculptor said: ‘Tom came in and he placed a hammer on the bench in front of me and he said, “That is it. I have killed her”.
‘I was left very confused because I thought this was some kind of joke.’
Mr Fiskvatn said Crompton, his work colleague since 2006, had earlier gone into the house to make a cup of tea for him, while he watched the workshop furnace which they were using for melting iron.
He heard the smashing of crockery from inside the house, but thought nothing of it as he sent a text message to his partner from a caravan by the workshop in Crompton’s garden.
When Crompton told him about the killing, they both went back into the house to check his wife’s pulse as she lay on her back on the dining room floor.
Thomas Crompton is alleged to have murdered his wife, Angela, in the cottage on the right
Mr Fiskvatn called 999, and an ambulance and the police were on the scene shortly after 4pm.
He said: ‘I tried to find any other explanation to why there was blood and hair on the hammer, but slowly I came to the realisation that what he told me was the truth.’
Mr Fiskvatn told the court that the couple had earlier been having problems and Crompton was seeking help for his wife.
He said: ‘He loved her deeply. They were taking steps to seek professional help and guidance.’
Mr Fiskvatn said that Crompton had come into the workshop ten days earlier with bags of kitchen knives and had told him that his wife had threatened to hurt herself and he wanted to keep the knives away from her.
Crompton admits the killing, but denies murder.
A jury will decide if he is guilty of murder or manslaughter in a trial expected to last two weeks.
The trial continues.