A NEIGHBOUR of murder accused John Barry Garner has told a jury how the defendant appeared to have been banished to live in a camper van by his late common law wife.

Garner admits he killed Teresa Garner at the home they shared at Llys Dewi in Pen-y-ffordd, near Holywell, but has pleaded not guilty to a murder charge.

He claims he has no recollection of the events of October 24 last year when he is said to have bludgeoned his common-law partner to death with a claw hammer.

Garner’s mood is said to have become agitated by the re-emergence of Teresa Garner’s former lover, Stuart Jones, who paid visits to the house to see his daughter.

He retreated to the camper which was parked on the drive of the Flintshire property and was drinking heavily, Mold Crown Court was told.

David Montgomery, who got to know Garner after he did work form him at his home on the estate, said: “John was getting thrown in the camper van on the path all the time.

“He loved Teresa very much, but I am not sure it was reciprocated.

“He broke down in my house once and said he just wasn’t happy.

“We used to find his empty cans everywhere when he was working and it looked as though he had a problem.”

The neighbour added: “He had been in the camper several days. There was no food or sanitation and we knocked on the door and took him some toast.

“He was in a terrible state.

“I offered to take him to relatives in St Helens, but he didn’t want to leave his lads.”

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

Garner said he had been asked to do work on a landing floor by Ms Garner.

Prosecuting counsel John Philpotts asked him: “That hammer was for Teresa Garner wasn’t it?”

The barrister pressed Garner about a previous assault on a former partner when he threw a power tool at her, but Garner claimed the tool had been first flung at him.

Garner, 51, of Llys Dewi, Pen-y-ffordd, near Holywell denies murder.

Both prosecution and defence evidence has been heard and summing up in the case will now start.