A killer attempted to conceal his crime by telling lies after committing a “brutal and remarkably cruel” murder.
The judge said that his case was nothing but “falsehoods and slurs” after he was put on trial for the murder of his estranged wife, Jade Ward.
Russell Norman James Marsh, of Shotton, tried to taint the character of his former partner, and even tried to paint a distorted image of her family and friends throughout the murder trial held at Mold Crown Court, North Wales Live reports.
Despite his best efforts to convince them otherwise, a jury saw right through the dad-of-five’s lies and convicted him of Ms Ward’s cold-blooded murder.
It took the jury just less than two hours to reach a decision.
The judge, Rhys Rowlands, commended the family and friends of Ms Ward. They filled the public gallery at court throughout the trial and remained composed throughout the campaign of lies that spewed from the mouth of the “arrogant, manipulative and controlling man” sat below them in the dock.
Throughout the two-and-a-half week trial, various witnesses were called forth to recount what they saw and heard in the days leading up to Ms Ward’s tragic death at Marsh’s hands.
His defense claimed that the whole family were on a “witch hunt” and had organized an “agenda” to bring him down. They were even accused of being “selective” with the truth by the man who took Ms Ward’s life from her in a “sadistic” attack.
Marsh even claimed in court that two of his young sons were “mistaken” in their evidence provided to the jury. He disputed what the boys – who both gave the same version of events in their pre-recorded video interviews – told the police their dad did when he returned home from work in the early hours of August 26, 2021.
The defense attempted to weaponize the history of drug misuse by Ms Ward’s mother Karen Robinson and present her best friend Taylor Wesley as a “bad influence”. Even before the trial, Marsh was telling “calculated” lies.
On the night of the murder, he used his brother’s heroin struggles to bail on working claiming that he was “the only one” who could get through to him. He was then tracked heading away from his Cheshire workplace and approaching Ms Ward’s home on Chevrons Road in Flintshire.
Most shockingly, the 29-year-old killer tried to present Ms Ward – who was unable to defend herself from the allegations – as an unfit mother to their four boys. This countered the wave of family accounts that were heard in court describing Ms Ward as “the best mum” who “lived” for her boys de ella.
The murderer also changed his story part-way through the trial. The jury were told a new version of events were submitted on day three of the trial when Marsh dropped his initial lie that the murder was an “accident” following a sexual request gone wrong.
The “amazing and bubbly” mum was slashed, stabbed and strangled in her own bed in the box room of her home – just yards away from where their children slept. The judge told a remorseless Marsh that he “shuddered to think” of what the last few minutes of her life de ella must have been like.
Marsh will be sentenced at Mold Crown Court on Tuesday, April 12. He was told to expect nothing short of life imprisonment.
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