I've lost woman I love, says barber

A BARBER accused of murder sobbed as he relived the moment he strangled his partner.

Ian Craig Grant told a murder trial jury: "I've lost the woman I loved and I'm responsible for it."

He said he accepted Lisa Marie Wood died at his hands and he regretted what he did.

The prosecution says Grant – who owns two hair salons in Kirkham and Cleveleys – murdered Miss Wood after she told him she was going to leave him and "find a real man".

Preston Crown Court heard how Grant rang 999 and told an operator: "I've killed my Mrs."

The body of the 36-year-old victim was found on a bed in the couple's home in Lauderdale Avenue, Anchorsholme, on June 1. She had been strangled.

Grant admits the killing, but the issue for the jury to decide is one of provocation, whether what Grant did falls within the bracket of murder or manslaughter.

He told the jury he had owned Grant's Barber Shop in Kirkham for nine and a half years.

He also set up a ladies salon Lush in Cleveleys with a loan, but it was losing money and he was "stressed out about it".

He said his hobby was bodybuilding which began 20 years ago and he had done amateur competitions and took steroids "to bigger his physique".

Grant said he had been on anti-depressants for 10 years and attempted suicide in May 2001 when he took 80 paracetemol tablets.

Leading up to Miss Wood's death, Grant said their relationship was "changing for the worse".

He said she would use cannabis and cocaine, bought new clothes and went out more, doing her own thing and not giving any explanation, often coming home in the early hours.

On May 28 he put rope round his neck and stepped off the banister at his Cleveleys salon, but aborted the attempt, leaving marks around his neck.

"My emotions were all over the place. I thought everyone would be better off without me," Grant said.

Miss Wood had told him she wanted to go to her mother's for a few days. He did not want her to go.

On May 31 they went to Preston shopping and had a family meal before returning home.

Miss Wood decided it was too late to go to her mother's house and went to bed. Grant slept downstairs.

He was joined by his son and they both went to sleep.

Later he woke to go to the toilet and went into the bedroom to turn the TV off when Miss Wood woke.

"I said listen love, don't go tomorrow, please don't go," said Grant. "She told me 'I'm going to find a real man'. That's the last thing I remember."

Asked whether he thought the situation would have escalated if Miss Wood had not made the last comment, Grant replied "no".

He said he accepted Miss Wood died at his hands, but said he had not wanted to kill her .

Grant denies murder.

(Proceeding)