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NT mum finds daughter brutally murdered

AAP logoAAP 25/11/2016 Lucy Hughes Jones

The body of a Northern Territory woman allegedly murdered by an ex-partner was discovered by her mother two days after Mother's Day.

The Crown's case in the retrial is that Alice Springs man Darren Ashley stabbed his ex-partner Kirsty Ashley 27 times in 2012 because she ended their 16-year relationship.

Heather Steadman found her daughter's body on May 15 in a pool of blood in her son's house, where she had been staying after the break-up.

While giving evidence at the NT Supreme Court on Friday, Ms Steadman said she noticed drops of blood on the window outside the home, and peered in to make the grisly discovery.

"I saw Kirsty lying there ... I could see her face. I was screaming," she said.

"I could see her throat had been cut, I could see she had died because her eyes were all vacant and staring.

"I sat down next to her and I was crying and I put my hand on her face. (The ambulance operator) asked me to feel her pulse and I said there's no point, she's dead."

The court heard Ms Steadman found a "samurai" sword beside the victim's body, which the prosecution says Ashley planted as a decoy to send police down the wrong path.

Ms Steadman said Ashley accused his ex-partner of having an affair and assaulted her a few weeks before she was killed.

"As she was walking away she heard running behind her and Darren grabbed her by the throat," Ms Steadman said.

Ms Steadman saw her daughter soon after the incident and said Ms Ashley was distressed.

"She was frightened. She was crying and shaking. I saw that she had a lump on her neck," Ms Steadman said.

Ms Steadman said after the couple split up, the accused demanded Ms Ashley transfer him $7000 and sign her cars over to him to allow her to see their son.

"He was constantly texting and following her," she said.

A friend who was going to be best man at their wedding, David Wallace, is dead, but his testimony from the first trial was also read in court on Friday.

Mr Wallace had been mates with the accused for 30 years and first met Ms Ashley when they started dating while she was working at the local dump.

He said Ashley raised concerns Ms Ashley was cheating with her new boss at the local auto shop when they split up.

"He was upset, his whole world was torn apart," Mr Wallace said.

"He was angry because the person he loves walked out."

But Mr Wallace said Ashley never mentioned he wanted to hurt the man he thought his wife had left him for.

The trial continues.

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