Sunday 26 March 2017

Woman denies stun gun murder of her love rival in an 'orgy of violence'

Sadie Hartley Photo: PA
Sadie Hartley Photo: PA

Pat Hurst

A woman accused of murdering a love rival with a stun gun in an "orgy of violence" has told a court she did not do it.

Sarah Williams, 35, is on trial for the murder of businesswoman Sadie Hartley, 60, who the prosecution allege she killed after former boyfriend Ian Johnston dumped her.

Williams, wearing a dark business suit over a white top, sipped water as she gave evidence in the witness box, watched closely by Ms Hartley's two children, Charlotte (22) and Harry (23) who were sitting in the public gallery of Preston Crown Court.

She is accused of plotting to kill Ms Hartley for 17 months with co-accused Katrina Walsh (56) after becoming "obsessed" with ex-fireman Mr Johnston (57), who was in a relationship with the victim.

Williams, a ski holiday firm sales adviser, met Mr Johnston on the slopes at the Chill Factore, an artificial slope in Manchester, where they both enjoyed skiing.

Text exchanges turned "flirty" and Williams later turned up at his house wearing a short skirt and red high heels, and the relationship quickly became sexual. The jury has heard that Mr Johnston ended the "heavy" relationship with "clingy" Williams after she became obsessed with him and started a new relationship with Ms Hartley - though sex with the defendant continued.

Williams, who described herself to friends as a "She-Devil" and "psycho", and whom friends described as a "bunny boiler", called Ms Hartley a "bitch" and sent her a "spiteful" letter telling of the "fantastic" sex she was having with her boyfriend.

Gordon Cole QC, representing Williams, yesterday asked her to describe her "general character". The witness replied: "I'm quite easy-going, I can get on with people relatively easily."

Mr Cole continued: "How about aggressive? Saying things about people?"

"No, I would not say I'm aggressive at all."

Irish Independent

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