A spurned husband killed his wife by battering her with an ornamental elephant, a court heard.
Devendra Singh used the wooden figure to attack Charlotte Smith with ‘extreme force and extreme violence’ after the 42-year-old told him she wanted a divorce, the jury was told.
Philip Bennetts QC, prosecuting, said Miss Smith’s skull was repeatedly ‘smashed and shattered’ in the attack last September.
He described the level of violence used against her as ‘off the scale’.
Singh, 33, admits killing his wife – who worked as a health and safety manager – but denies murder, claiming he suffered a ‘loss of control’. The court heard he beat his wife of two years with the 4lb wooden object after an argument at their home in Leek, Staffordshire.
Mr Bennetts said: ‘Many of the blows were delivered with a heavy implement – an ornamental elephant which the defendant picked up and used to strike her repeatedly to the face and head.’
Miss Smith was said to have died as a result of ‘sustained and extreme blunt force trauma’.
Mr Bennetts added: ‘Bone was smashed and shattered time and time again.
‘The amount of force used was effectively off the scale. It was beyond severe – it was extreme.’ Following the attack, Singh is accused of leaving his wife’s body on their living room floor and leaving the house, taking her mobile phone SIM card with him.
It was alleged that he cleaned up and threw evidence – including the wooden elephant – over the garden fence into a field, before fleeing to London.
He is said to have put Miss Smith’s SIM into his own phone and sent texts to her family and friends – including her father, Peter Smith – pretending to be her.
Stafford Crown Court heard Mr Smith discovered his daughter’s body on the floor of her living room three days later. Singh returned to Leek that same day and handed himself in to police.
Mr Smith, 65, told how his daughter and son-in-law had lunch at his home just a day before Miss Smith was killed.
Giving evidence on the first day of the trial on Tuesday, Mr Smith said: ‘We had a really great time. We were talking about holidays and parties. When they left everything was OK.
‘We were planning to go on holiday to Goa in November.’
The trial continues.