Stun gun murder accused 'watched Mamma Mia after hearing of rival's death'


Alleged stun gun killer Sarah Williams has been accused of singing along to the Abba musical Mamma Mia, "rejoicing" in the savage slaughter of her love rival, a court heard.

Williams, 35, enjoyed watching the film with her co-accused after stabbing and slashing mother-of-two Sadie Hartley 40 times in an "orgy of violence" after first paralysing her with a 500,000-volt stun gun, Preston Crown Court was told.

The ski holiday rep wanted Ms Hartley dead while trying to rekindle a relationship with the businesswoman's partner, ex-fireman Ian Johnston, 57, whom she had an affair with, the jury was told.

Businesswoman Ms Hartley was found face down in a pool of blood in the hallway of her £500,000 home in Helmshore, Lancashire, on January 14.

Williams and co-accused Katrina Walsh, 57, deny plotting the murder for 17 months.

John McDermott QC, prosecuting, asked the defendant about her reaction on hearing the news of the death of Ms Hartley, whom she referred to as a "troll bitch" to friends.

He continued: "So in the aftermath of Sadie's death, what did you do on Saturday night within hours of this awful news?"

Williams told the jury she went to Walsh's home, had a chat, a meal and watched a DVD film with her friend on her bed.

Mr McDermott said: "Do you remember the film?"

Williams replied: "Mamma Mia."

The prosecutor continued: "The Abba movie. Did you sing along with Kit (Walsh)? 'Did you hear about Sadie dying? Oh, this one's a good one, Dancing Queen' - is that how it went?"

Williams replied: "No."

Mr McDermott continued: "You're on the bed with Kit with Mamma Mia. You did not care two hoots what you had done."

"I had not done anything," Williams replied.

The prosecutor continued: "The 'troll bitch' was dead, and it was rejoicing for you, wasn't it?"

"No, absolutely not," Williams said.

Mr McDermott said: "The culmination of the perfect murder?"

"Absolutely not," the defendant said.

Mr McDermott added: "A few hours later the door goes in and you are handcuffed and taken away. What a shock for you."

"Absolutely shocking," Williams replied.

Co-accused Walsh kept voluminous diaries detailing the murder plot, it is alleged.

Horse riding instructor Walsh has denied being "up to her neck" in the plot, saying she believed she was playing a game of the Channel 4 programme Hunted - where teams of people try to avoid detection by "going off the grid".

Mr McDermott quoted entries from Walsh's diary, with talk of "endless murder plots" involving them planning the "perfect murder".

He said: "They are extraordinary. Either the ramblings of a madman or a complete log of you and her as a murder team, setting up and enjoying the chase. Not Hunted, but hunters - that's the truth, isn't it?"

"Definitely not," Williams replied.

He continued: "You are obsessed with this man, so consumed were you over a number of years that in the end you decided you were going to kill Sadie Hartley just to give you that chance to get him, that's what this is, isn't it?

"No," replied Williams.

Williams, of Treborth Road, Blacon, Chester, and Walsh, of Hare Lane, Chester, both deny murder.

The trial was adjourned until Monday morning.