A commercial airline pilot killed his estranged wife with a saucepan because she refused to lower the sale price of their marital home after they broke up, a court has heard.
Andrew McIntosh, 54, of Woolscott in Warwickshire, is accused of murdering mum-of-one Patricia McIntosh, known as Trish, 56, in a fit of “rage, anger and frustration.”
Warwick Crown Court heard on the first day of the trial on Monday heard how Patricia was found dead in the kitchen of her £300,000 bungalow in Knightcote, by police having suffered multiple facial injuries.
McIntosh, who worked for UK airline TUI, was arrested half an hour later at 9.45pm on November 15 last year after being stopped in his car 18 miles away in Rugby
He admitted to police he had “battered” his wife when she would not agree to dropping the sale price of the property - called Grassyard - where she was still living.
The court heard McIntosh had stopped living at the marital home - which the couple moved into after their marriage three-and-a-half years ago - when they separated.
Despite earning more than £100,000 a year McIntosh was “under financial pressure” due to paying costs to his first wife, the mortgage on the marital home and his own rent.
McIntosh said after he asked her to drop the price of the home he “lost control” and grabbed a saucepan from the stove full of peas and water.
He told police “I smashed her with it” and repeatedly kicked her before describing how his wife made “dull screams” and “gurgling sounds” as she lay dying.
He then drove away from the scene and went drinking in a pub before confessing to friends in text message: “I’ve done the unthinkable and I’m f****d.”
The father-of-two denies murdering his wife, who worked as a nail technician.
Opening the case, prosecutor Peter Grieves-Smith said: “The defendant was an airline pilot at TUI – he wasn’t flying that day, albeit on standby.
“He had married Patricia McIntosh in 2012 and had separated five years later in June 2017, about five months before the day we are going to be focusing on.
“Divorce proceedings had begun and the house Patricia McIntosh was living in was put up for sale.
“By November there had been little or no interest in the property.
“The defendant wanted to drop the sale price - Patricia McIntosh didn’t want to do that.
“On November 15, Patricia McIntosh was again asked to drop the sale price – she declined to do so.
“The defendant was angered by this refusal and was to tell police, although he was earning more than £100,000 per year, he was under financial pressure.
“Later that afternoon he had been drinking and decided to drive to Grassyard and speak to Patricia McIntosh.
“Since he had moved out of the matrimonial home in June there had been minimal contact between them.
“He decided to drive across to talk to her. When he got to her house, she was in the middle of preparing food.
“He was to tell police when interviewed under caution he asked her to change her mind – she declined to do so and told him to leave.
“He then sought to grab her and attacked her – to use his terms, ‘I lost control’.
“He picked up a saucepan on the cooker containing water and peas and used it as a weapon – ‘I smashed her with it’ is what he told police.
“Apart from using the saucepan as a weapon, he used his feet as well and did that after she had gone to the ground in the corner of her kitchen.
“She died on her kitchen floor.
“The defendant did nothing to help her after he had finished the attack, didn’t try and give her first aid or dial 999 or do anything.
“He left her lying dead on the ground with blood surrounding her head, on the kitchen surface and there was blood elsewhere in the room.
“The defendant recalls pulling the blind down in the kitchen and turned off something that was making a beeping noise.
“Having done that, he left her on the ground and went back home, drank a bottle of wine and contacted friends in Norfolk to tell them what he had done.
“The prosecution say he was consumed with rage when he attacked her and intended to kill her.
“The prosecution’s case is the defendant acted in rage, anger and frustration because she wouldn’t do what he wanted her to do and it’s as simple as that.”
The court heard McIntosh left school without qualifications and worked his way up to become a pilot with Thomson, TUI.
Patricia was his second wife and the court heard he had been “moody, controlling and difficult” and had resorted to violence previously.
Mr Grieves-Smith added:“He found divorce proceedings and financial pressures difficult – albeit the same could be said of Patricia McIntosh and countless others who sadly end up in this situation.
“Prior to their separation there were times when Patricia McIntosh was very, very happy with the defendant.
“She was to speak to the divorce solicitor about him being violent on three separate occasions.
“She said he was intimidating, threatening and verbally abusive, stemming from drinking too much and being a controlling man.
“Despite an income that exceeded £100,000, by virtue of what he was paying his first wife, by virtue of having to pay the mortgage at Grassyard and rent his own property, he felt under financial pressure.
“He made a complaint about Patricia McIntosh having expensive taste.
“Did she? Well he chose to buy and drive a Maserati and a Range Rover.
“They had separated in acrimonious circumstances - Patricia McIntosh told friends the defendant had criticised her physical appearance.
“He didn’t go over there with intent to reason with her, he drove across because he was angry and wanted her to do what he wanted – to exercise control over her, something he had done when they were married.
“The defendant told the police when the door was opened by Patricia McIntosh he was met with a negative response to his request to try and solve the problem.
“He said he was frustrated and he tried to push the door, she told him to get out – he didn’t do that.
“He said he tried to press his point and she went to walk away.
“He grabbed her to try and stop her and make her listen.
“She fell to the floor and he attacked her, he punched and kicked her and used a pan on the cooker.
“He said the attack didn’t take long, that he was aware she wasn’t breathing but didn’t check or try to give her help.
“The way he expressed this was: ‘I was verbally expressing myself, why the f**k won’t you help.
“’I lost control completely.
“‘I pulled the blind down in the kitchen, turned the oven off and drove off leaving her dead on the floor.’
“He then went home, drank a bottle of wine and started texting his best friend.
“Then he sent a text to his friend: ‘I’ve done the unthinkable and I’m f****d if I do and I’m f****d if I don’t.
“He sent to the friend’s wife: ‘Susie I’ve just murdered Trish in rage and I’m waiting for the police to arrive. I love you both, please forgive me.’”
The prosecutor told the court how McIntosh had described his wife in the aftermath of the attack.
He said: “’Just the sort of noises you would associate with being battered, like a dull scream I guess.
“’When I stepped away I heard a few gurgling sounds and it stopped.’
“It was a hard attack and he was out of control.
“The cause of death was head and facial injuries.
“If he had been flying a plane, he would have been in control of it.
“The dreams had turned to ashes and she was in no mood to accommodate his wishes – he could control a plane of passengers, he could not control Patricia McIntosh.
“Riddled with anger, he drove across to see her – when he didn’t get his way he exploded and killed her in anger.”
Alexander Kolar, Home Office forensic pathologist, highlighted 34 external injuries to Patricia McIntosh’s body, including a fractured nose and significant bruising.
He said: “When I examined the head and neck there was significant scalp bruising evident.
“There was fracturing of the nose. There was prominent tissue tearing of the inside of the lips.
“There was a large quantity of blood in her airpipe. She had swallowed blood.
“I had seen a small quantity of subdural bleeding – bleeding behind one of the coverings of the brain.
“The severity of injuries we have in this case, (the neuro-pathologist) would have expected to see more brain injuries than he has seen.
“This tends to suggest she has died relatively quickly after the injury has taken place.”
McIntosh denies murder claiming manslaughter by reason of diminished responsibility.
The trial, which is expected to last two weeks, continues.