Edward Metcalfe, 36, has denied murder and an alternative charge of manslaughter. His partner, Tracey Topliss, 47, was found dead in their home after allegedly being attacked by Metcalfe on November 15 2013.

Rex Tedd QC, prosecuting said: “The prosecution say that the defendant murdered his partner in a domestic confrontation at their house when both of them had been under the influence of drink.

“Metcalfe struck her over the head so hard that he broke some bones in her head. This caused her to fall and strike her head on a hard object, probably upon a table that had a glass top as an inset.”

Birmingham Crown Court heard that the police initially believed her death to be an accident as her injuries were consistent with falling down the stairs.

However a different pathologist revealed an injury to Miss Topliss’s cheek which was missed during the first examination.

The trial continues.

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