THE man accused of choking a Wrexham woman to death in her bedroom during a burglary gone wrong told police he expected to make £10,000 from the break-in, a jury heard.
But Alexandros Wetherill, who said he actually received £3,000, claimed he had never intended to hurt victim Glynis Solmaz.
Initially he told police he grabbed her when she disturbed him in a bedroom as he tried to take her safe.
But he later said that he grabbed her when she first answered his knock at the door.
In interviews read to the jury at Mold Crown Court yesterday, Wetherill said he only wanted money because he was desperate to pay bills and put gas in his home so he could have his partner and their baby back.
The court has heard prosecution claims that Mrs Solmaz was killed in her home at Bryn Hafod on the Caia Park estate to prevent her identifying the burglars.
Wetherill, 24, of Plas Gwyn, Wrexham, and Christopher Curran, 34, of Broom Avenue, Brymbo, have both denied murdering Mrs Solmaz in February. Wetherill has admitted manslaughter.
In his interviews with the police after he handed himself in at Wrexham police station, Wetherill was asked to explain what had happened and said he had heard that she had money and a safe. He went to the house and ended up struggling with her.
He is said to have told police: “I’ve just had a baby and stuff. Times are hard so I’ve been told if you go there and there’s no car outside no one’s in. So I’ve gone in there out of desperation.
“The car is not there, I’ve walked up and approached the door.”
He said he knocked at the door, no one answered and he tried the door and it opened.
Wetherill claimed he went up the bedroom to get the safe but then Mrs Solmaz approached him and attacked him. “I panicked,” he said.
“I’ve just grabbed her and I just held her type of thing, and I’ve just gone. I panicked, I’ve just gone.”
He said what had happened had been “eating him up” with guilt.
He added: “This is completely out of character for me and it’s just been sheer desperation why I’ve done it. I’ve been like a bag of nerves the last two days.”
Wetherill later told officers that if someone had answered the door then he would have gone away.
“Like I said, it’s not something I do, so this is all new,” he is said to have told police.
“The whole thing is new. It’s just spur of the moment, desperation, yeah.”
He said that while he was in the bedroom Mrs Solmaz entered and attacked him. He claimed he was getting the safe out when she came in.
He grabbed her, spun her around and just held her, trying to calm her down.
The defendant said he told Mrs Solmaz he did not want any trouble, that he had only come for the money and he had her in a bear hug.
“I just tried to restrain here, that’s all,” he said. “I wouldn’t say that I used a lot of force.
“I wouldn’t say I tried to hurt her or anything. I just held her.”
He said she calmed down and that he just remembered her snoring and he then fled. He told how she went limp and he just ran, leaving her lying on the bedroom floor.
Wetherill said that he had thought the burglary was no risk and he would just get some easy money. He had been working six days a week as a bricklayer but could not make ends meet.
He expected a £10,000 share. The whole thing has gone wrong and “absolutely wrecked my head”, he said.
He said: “The whole thing has just gone well out of proportion.”
In a second interview he changed his story and told how Mrs Solmaz answered the front door when he knocked and that he had grabbed her there.
He had said he did not want to hurt her but had come for the money.
She took him to the bedroom and took a picture off the wall and the safe was behind, but as he tried to prise the safe open he loosened his grip on her and she tried to attack him with a lamp shade, he said.
They ended up on the bed with Mrs Solmaz on top of him, facing away from him, and she went limp, Wetherill said.
She was snoring and he thought she was sleeping.
There then followed 13 interviews where he largely made “no comment” replies
Wetherill later made a prepared statement where he said that as Mrs Solmaz was still trying to hit him, he tightened his grip and she went limp and her body relaxed.
“She was breathing and making a snoring noise and I thought she would come around.”
Curran then came in and Wetherill said: “I was still on the bed and had my foot against her head just in case she woke up so that she could not turn and see my face.
“I was not putting pressure or force on her head. My foot was against the front of her head, not her neck.”