A FLINTSHIRE man who killed his wife with a claw hammer claimed he was so drunk that he had no recollection of the events on the fatal day.

John Barry Garner killed Teresa Garner in a “sustained and ferocious” attack at the home they shared at Llys Dewi in Penyffordd, near Holywell, on October 24.

Garner had been drinking to excess after Mrs Garner’s former lover, Stuart Jones, re-emerged in her life and began to meet up with his daughter from a previous affair.

She had been raised by Garner, whose unease grew over Mr Jones’ visits, although he said he believed his partner when she insisted she was not seeking to rekindle the former relationship.

Garner told Mold Crown Court he had no memory of the day on which his wife died.

Mrs Garner suffered 16 separate head wounds from blows inflicted by a hammer which was found discarded in a neighbouring garden.

Asked by defence counsel, Patrick Harrington QC, why he would have a hammer in the house, Garner replied: “The only thing I could think of was to do the floor upstairs as she was constantly going on about it.”

When Mr Harrington asked him whether he accepted he had killed Mrs Garner”, in tears Garner replied “yes”, but he said he had no recollection of the day at all.

The first realisation he had that something was wrong was when he was spoken to by his sister in St Asaph Police Station.

Garner said he realised he had a drink problem in his forties.

He told police after his arrest that he would drink “as much as he possibly could get inside” him, including litres of cider and vodka.

He recalled how the relationship had been a stormy one and that often he said arguments ended with “Teresa attacking me and kicking me out”.

On one occasion he said they ended up “rolling around and fighting” in the garden.

Teresa Garner, he said, could be volatile, although he admitted once hitting her to the face in retaliation.

“She was volatile and could be horrible towards me," he said.

"One minute she was nice, the next she wasn’t but it was her illness."

Their relationship deteriorated with the re-emergence of Mr Jones in his partner’s life and Garner said he spent “weeks on end” staying in the camper van parked on the drive of the property.

In the days leading up to the killing, Garner admitted he was drinking “all day and every day – the minute I opened my eyes”.

The court has previously heard as Mrs Garner lay dead, Garner called the emergency services and admitted: “I think I’ve murdered my missus”.

Garner, 51, of Llys Dewi, Penyffordd, near Holywell denies murder.

The trial continues.