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Jilted NT man stabbed wife dead: Crown

AAP logoAAP 14/11/2016 Lucy Hughes Jones

A jilted husband accused of the stabbing murder of his estranged partner became "obsessed" with her, believing she had cheated on him, his retrial has heard.

The Crown's case is that Northern Territory man Darren Ashley stabbed his ex-partner Kirsty Ashley 27 times in May 2012 because he was "intensely angry" she had left him.

"The accused became obsessed with Kirsty. He contacted her 297 occasions over a two-week period before she sought a restraining order," prosecutor David Morters told the NT Supreme Court in his opening statement on Monday.

Mr Morters said the accused believed Mrs Ashley ended their 16-year relationship because she was having an affair with her boss at the local auto shop in Alice Springs.

The court heard Ashley assaulted and stalked his victim in the weeks leading up to the killing.

Then on the morning of May 15 he entered Mrs Ashley's brother's house, where she was staying at the time, and was on the phone to her stepdaughter.

About 11.13am her stepdaughter heard a "blood curdling scream" from Mrs Ashley before the line went dead, Mr Morters said.

Ashley then used a knife he had brought plus a number of other knives from the home to kill Ms Ashley in a "frenzied attack".

Mr Morters said Ashley then allegedly planted a ceremonial “elvish” sword beside the victim's body and “dipped it in a pool of blood to send police down the wrong path”.

He then burnt his clothes and ditched the knives in a drain, Mr Morters said.

Ashley also allegedly hid the victim’s phone in a hollow log, which police later discovered after calling it.

The court heard Ashley turned up to Alice Springs police station on the day of the murder saying was being hounded by a Bandidos bikie pursuing a bad debt.

“He handed over a note suggesting his life was in danger from a member of an outlaw motorcycle gang,” Mr Morters said.

“It's a desperate attempt by the accused to shift the blame.”

The Crown will use forensic samples from the accused’s blood found at the scene and on Ms Ashley’s telephone and jumper as evidence.

Witness testimony from police and family members including the victim's mother, who discovered Mrs Ashley’s body, will also form part of the case.

Justice Dean Mildren told the jury the matter is a retrial.

“It's most important that you do not draw any adverse inference against the accused simply because it's a retrial,” he said.

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