Northamptonshire Police officer choked his wife with his bare hands and hit her with paint pot during fatal attack, court hears

Otis Goldsmith
Otis Goldsmith

A Northamptonshire Police officer caused his wife fatal injuries after he hit her with a large battery and a paint pot and then choked her with his bare hands, a court heard.

PC Adrian Goldsmith, aged 50- known as Otis - is accused of bludgeoning wife Jill, 49, in the porch of their home next to Wootton Hall police headquarters in Northampton.

Otis Goldsmith.

Otis Goldsmith.

A jury at Stafford Crown Court heard he allegedly hit her repeatedly in the head with a pot of paint, a mallet and a box-type battery before choking her with his bare hands.

Prosecutor John Lloyd Jones QC said Goldsmith, who has been charged with murder, held her with such force he fractured her Adam’s apple and a bone in her neck.

A jury were played a 999 call he made to police claiming his wife attacked him.

In the recording, Goldsmith said: “My wife tried to kill me, I think she’s dead.”

Detective Constable Otis Goldsmith (L) with wife Jill Goldsmith (R).

Detective Constable Otis Goldsmith (L) with wife Jill Goldsmith (R).

Officers raced to their home at 1.13pm on March 26 last year and found Goldsmith, who had served in the police for 28 years, holding a smashed drinking glass and a knife.

Pictures seen by the jury of seven men and five women showed Jill’s lifeless body lying in a pool of blood in the porch of their home.

In interview Goldsmith said she had come at him with the knife “like a whirling dervish” and stabbed him.

The court heard the couple, who married in May 2014, had problems including Jill’s lack of sex drive caused by her starting the menopause.

Jill Goldsmith

Jill Goldsmith

Mr Lloyd Jones said: “The relationship was at times a happy one but after their marriage their relationship became beset with difficulties.

“They would frequently argue and it’s fair to say they both had their fair share of personal problems.

“Jill was undergoing the menopause and the reduction in her sex drive was something that annoyed and frustrated the defendant.

“We say this man lost his temper and in that rage he unlawfully killed Jill Goldsmith using a variety of weapons and he quite plainly intended to kill her.

“Jill Goldsmith was the victim of a sustained blunt force assault in which multiple blows were directed at her head.”

The court heard Goldsmith, who has three children from a previous marriage, told officers he was forced to defend himself against her, saying he felt it was “sh*t or bust.”

Mr Lloyd Jones said: “In order to cope with her problems she started smoking cannabis. That habit was something the defendant did not approve of.

“He had his own problems. In 2012 the Professional Standards Department investigated him on suspicion of misconduct. The defendant took that very badly and went on long term sick leave with stress.

“Adrian Goldsmith enjoyed drinking alcohol. Unfortunately, his personality changed when he was drinking and this made Jill feel afraid of him.

“Not being able to have a drink was another source of annoyance for him.

“He also wasn’t allowed to see two of his children from a previous relationship, which was a further cause of upset.

“During their honeymoon and marriage the couple would argue and lose their tempers to the point they both seriously considered divorce.

“He would obsess about matters and frequently over-complicated things and he was in the habit of writing long letters addressed to himself or his wife and he would micro-analyse events. These letters were all very self-absorbed.

“During one note he wrote he was ‘ready to explode’ and said he feared what he might do in such circumstances.

“On the morning of March 26, the defendant had been continuing advanced refurbishment on his home. The couple planned to sell it and move to the countryside for a fresh start.

“At 12pm he drove to his son’s in Northampton and spent a short time with him before returning home. While he was out, Jill had been at home searching for properties online on various websites.

“At 1.06pm the defendant rang 999 on his mobile phone. He asked for police first and ambulance second. Officers were dispatched to the house and they arrived at 1.13pm.

“They found Jill Goldsmith lying in a pool of blood and she was dead.

“They saw the defendant behind the porch door. He was holding a small kitchen knife in one hand and a broken drinking glass in the other. He had fresh and dried blood on his face and appeared to have suffered facial injuries.

“He had blood and black paint on his clothing and was sweating, crying and out of breath.

“He told them his wife had come at him. He told them she was on drugs and psychotic and had attacked him with a glass and a knife. He said she wouldn’t drop it and he had killed her.

“After his arrest he told detectives they had argued because of his wife’s cannabis smoking. He said she had thrown a glass at came at him like a ‘whirling dervish’, punching and kicking him.

“He bizarrely claimed she then picked up a mallet and hit herself on the back of the head with it. He said she then banged her own head hard off a nearby wall. He said he put her in a headlock to protect her but she broke free.

“He said she started to stab him, then they struggled and fell over. He remembered getting hit in the head with a volt box-type battery.

“He tried to put her in a sleeper hold as they fought the knife had gone between his legs. He described this as ‘a game-changer’.

“He hit her in the head with a can of paint. He said this had no effect so he picked up the battery and hit her in the head as hard as he could.

“He said he thought he was going to die and said he made a conscious decision to hit her until she stopped.

“He initially said he hadn’t gone upstairs after the attack and hadn’t gone to the airing cupboard.

“But after investigators told him they had found black paint marks leading up the stairs to the airing cupboard and found the mallet head inside, he changed his story.

“The mallet head was covered in Jill Goldsmith’s blood. He then admitted hitting her over the head with it but blamed her.

“Adrian Goldsmith doesn’t have a mental illness and doesn’t claim he lost control - which can be a partial defence for murder. He claims he was acting in reasonable self-defence.

“The prosecution say that is a nonsense.

“You will see scientific evidence of blood spattering on the porch wall which proves this defendant hit his wife while she was lying on the floor and after she had started bleeding.

“He struck her repeatedly to death and also held her round the neck while she was alive and after she had died.

“He held her with such force he fractured her Adam’s apple and a bone in her neck.

“The act was completely gratuitous and her death was totally, totally unnecessary.

“He stands at 5ft 9ins and weighs 12 stone. Jill Goldsmith weighed 6st 9lbs and was 5ft 2ins. It would have been only too easy, had he really been threatened by his diminutive wife, to leave the force or restrain her in a non-fatal way.

“He had injuries but none of these were even remotely life-threatening. He had a number of superficial stab injuries but it is the prosecution’s case that these were self-inflicted to mimic a knife attack.

“He fabricated evidence to make it look like he had been stabbed by his wife to try and fool his colleagues and you the jury.”

Goldsmith was awarded a Police Long Service and Good Conduct Medal by the force in 2009 when he was a Detective Constable.

At the time of his arrest he was a Police Constable after volunteering to return to uniform.

Goldsmith denies murder. The trial continues.