A FLINTSHIRE man has been convicted of murdering his partner in a ferocious hammer attack.

John Barry Garner now faces a life sentence next week.

He accepted killing his common law wife Teresa Garner when drunk but denied a murder charge.

On the eighth day of a Mold Crown Court trial he was found guilty of murder after a jury retirement of less than two hours.

Judge Rhys Rowlands remanded in him custody pending sentence which, he said, would take place on Monday or possibly Tuesday.

The judge told Garner: "You have been convicted by the jury of the offence of murder which involved you taking away the life of a mother of three children, two of them your own children."

Judge Rowlands said Teresa Garner lost her life in "quite the most horrendous circumstances in her own home".

There could only be one sentence – life imprisonment – but the court had to determine the minimum period he would have to serve before he could apply for release to the parole board.

Even then he would not be released until it was considered safe to do so, said the judge.

The jury has heard how Garner killed his partner and then rang 999, telling the operator he had "murdered my Missus".

Garner, 51, admitted killing Teresa Garner in the bathroom of the house they shared at Llys Dewi, Penyffordd, near Holywell, Flintshire, on October 24.

The prosecution said the "countdown" to her death began after he heard she was in contact with Stuart Jones, a man she was with 17 years ago and with whom she had a daughter.

Barrister John Philpotts, prosecuting, said it was a "sustained and ferocious attack" assault which began on the landing of the house but ended in the bathroom.

Teresa Garner had 16 separate head wounds and was discovered when officers arrived at the house to find him drunk.

Garner told the court he had no recollection of killing his partner or dialling 999.

He had been drinking heavily for days and only learned what he had done when his solicitor visited him in a police station.

Garner denied getting the hammer with the intention of attacking his partner and said he could only think it was in the house because he intended to fix some floorboards.

Garner said "he idolised her" and denied being jealous that his stepdaughter's biological father had resumed contact with the deceased and had visited the house.

Defence barrister Patrick Harrington QC said the re-appearance of the former lover had turned the deceased's head.

His client was banished to sleep in the camper van parked on the drive and while he had no recollection he must have snapped.

He suggested his client was guilty of manslaughter.

The jury also heard suggestions that Garner chose to sleep in the camper van and would go there to drink alcohol.

Previous partners told the jury how Garner had been threatening and violent to them.

The court heard he had been jailed for assaulting one of them.