Cage fighter found guilty of murdering ex-girlfriend in row over her sex life
A cage fighter has been found guilty of murdering his ex-girlfriend.
Andrew Wadsworth, 37, stabbed beautician Melissa Belshaw, 32, to death in the front bedroom of her home in Billinge, Wigan, on the afternoon of May 20.
He was convicted of murdering her today at Manchester Crown Court, the Manchester Evening News reported.
Wadsworth, of Cranfield Road, Wigan, was also found guilty of attempting to murder a man in the street, having previously admitted wounding him with intent.
A jury of seven men and five women found him not guilty of threatening to kill Ms Belshaw’s 13-year-old daughter following two days of deliberation.
The cage-fighter had admitted killing Ms Belshaw, but denied murdering her.
Before his conviction, Wadsworth said he felt “humiliated and betrayed” after claiming his ex made revelations to him on the day of her death.
He said for the first time, she had admitted she had been a sex worker “at some level” ever since they were together.
Wadsworth said Ms Belshaw also clarified rumours he heard about a sex party by saying she had multiple partners and also “fully admitted” her part in setting up a robbery in which he broke his back.
Wadsworth said he had given her “thousands” in cash before they split up last Christmas.
Prosecutors described these claims as “no more than recycled accusations” which had been raised months earlier, and allege Wadsworth had a “deep resentment” towards his former partner.
They said that allegations against Ms Belshaw were made to “shift blame”.
The court heard that Ms Belshaw admitted to Wadsworth days before her death that she had been receiving £1,200 a week for spending two hours with a “sugar daddy”.
The victim had apparently dismissed his persistent claims she had been sleeping with different people in Wigan and angrily denied on May 19 she had sex with a relative.
On Monday defence barrister Andrew O’Byrne QC gave his closing speech to jurors.
He said: “You have heard a great deal of the private life of Melissa Belshaw.
“You have heard her described as an escort or a prostitute.
“These elements were not advanced by us gratuitously, just to simply denigrate the memory of Ms Belshaw, let alone to suggest because of what she did she was somehow some kind of second class citizen.
“That is not the object at all.
“The evidence was adduced as an essential part of the background against which the defence of loss of control is set.”
Today Mrs Justice Yip told Wadsworth to expect a life sentence.