AN Amesbury man killed his wife by stabbing her in the neck with a knife, a court heard.

James Roy Simister, 48, has denied the murder or manslaughter of his wife Deborah, 45, and a trial started at Winchester Crown Court on Monday.

Kerry Maylin, prosecuting, said: “The crown say he killed her by stabbing her or slashing her neck on more than one occasion.”

Mr Simister called emergency services from the couple’s home in Maple Way on April 8 last year and said: “I’ve just stabbed my wife.”

When asked if she was all right, Simister replied: “No, she’s dying. Please get here.”

Police arrived just before 10.30pm and found Simister crouching on the floor of the bedroom holding his wife’s neck, with blood on his face and hands.

One of the officers applied pressure to the wound before paramedics arrived and mother-of-four Mrs Simister was taken by air ambulance to Southampton General Hospital, but she later died of her injuries.

Simister was arrested on suspicion of murder and the court heard he told officers he had stabbed his wife with a knife which had a 6.5cm blade.

While in police custody, Simister made a number of unsolicited comments admitting his guilt but later refused to sign the officers’ records.

The court heard the couple had a history of domestic violence and Simister had tried to strangle his wife in December 2012 after she admitted having an affair.

In the days before her death, Mrs Simister told several family members that she no longer wanted to be with her husband, and she had been due to go to stay with her mother in Norfolk on April 10.

The couple had both been drinking on the evening of April 8 and Miss Maylin said Simister is likely to have been “in a state of high to extreme intoxication”.

During the evening, Mrs Simister had sent text messages to her children saying she wanted to get in touch with the Samaritans. The trial continues.