'Killer stabbed nagging partner 177 times'

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A drunken man left a breadknife buried in his partner's neck after stabbing her 177 times because she was a nag, a jury heard today.

Arthur Pitt-Plaiddy, 36, of Saundersfoot, West Wales, then called the police and confessed to murdering 44-year-old partner Kim Butler.

The "prolonged and brutal attack" happened at the couple's Saundersfoot flat, in Pennant Avenue, in August last year, a Swansea Crown Court jury heard.

Paul Thomas QC, prosecuting, said Pitt-Plaiddy left the flat and called the police from a local phone box nearby.

He told the operator "I have just committed murder" and described the victim when asked as "my missus".

When police arrived at the phone box he told an officer: "I have done her in mate."

Mr Thomas said he then added: "I stabbed her in the leg, then the stomach and to shut her up I stabbed her in the face. I left the knife sticking in her neck."

He said Pitt-Plaiddy would later tell the police his partner had been "mouthy" and had hit and nagged him and he had stabbed her twice.

Subsequently he would see a psychiatrist and would go on to claim he had almost no memory of the incident, the court heard

Pitt-Plaiddy also described himself as an alcoholic with a heroin dependency, using the drug twice a day.

He later told police he had an alcohol dependency syndrome representing an abnormality which impaired his mind and diminished his responsibilities for the violent actions he carried out.

The trial began today with Pitt-Plaiddy admitting a charge of manslaughter but denying murder.

Mr Thomas told the jury their role would be to decide whether it was a case of "diminished responsibility as he says or whether it is a case of murder, pure and simple".

He said Pitt-Plaiddy was originally from London and had moved to Saundersfoot after his release from prison several months before and had soon moved in with his partner.

On the night before the killing he had been drinking in the Captain's Table pub in the seaside resort before going home drunk.

Mr Thomas said a neighbour in the flat above heard an argument after his arrival in the early hours of the morning and heard the couple's Labrador barking.

She heard what she believed was Kim Butler saying: "Sorry" three times and heard eight to 10 thumps.

Mr Thomas told the jury the prosecution believed that was the "sustained and fatal attack by the defendant on Kim Butler."

He added: "The defendant seems to have stabbed Kim Butler, on the pathologist's best estimate, at least 177 times.

"You can imagine how long it would have taken to inflict all of those stab wounds and slash wounds," he said.

The jury today was shown photographs of the victim after being warned about the images they would see.

They also listened to a recording of the emergency call made by Pitt-Plaiddy which Mr Thomas reflected his state of mind at the time.

He argued the defendant's "insistence" on hyphenating his surname when he told it to the emergency operator showed he was in control of his faculties.

The case continues.