Woman throttled to death during row with former lover in Bradford, murder trial jury told

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A 25-year-old man throttled his former girlfriend to death when they met up in a caravan behind his home, a murder trial jury at Bradford Crown Court heard today.

Sales assistant James Gray admits the manslaughter of mother-of-two Jade Watson, saying he lost his self-control and attacked her during an argument.

Gray, who previously worked in Afghanistan in a civilian role supporting the Army, denies murdering Miss Watson, 22, of Wrose, Shipley, on the afternoon of November 5 last year.

Miss Watson was found dead in the caravan at Wood Lane, Swain House, Bradford, after Gray told his mother they had got into a fight and he had strangled her.

Prosecutor David Bradshaw told the jury that Gray had pleaded guilty to strangling Miss Watson to death.

The issues in the trial were whether he intended to kill her and if he had lost his self-control at the time.

Mr Bradshaw said Miss Watson, who worked at the In Plaice fish shop in Sunbridge Road, Bradford, was in a short relationship with Gray when she was 16 and he was 19.

After they separated, Gray joined a private company providing civilian support to the Army in Afghanistan.

He was then employed as a sales assistant at a builder’s merchant in the Bradford area.

Miss Watson had two children with another man but the relationship broke down in 2012 and she then began seeing Gray again.

They split up but Mr Bradshaw said text messages showed they were still meeting by arrangement.

By September last year, Miss Watson had formed a new relationship with a man called Chris Gill, the court was told.

Mr Bradshaw said that when Gray asked her about this, she denied it.

On the day of the killing, Miss Watson and Gray met up for a private talk in the caravan.

Gray told the police he lost his self control in an argument about a child.

Mr Bradshaw said: “He admitted that his actions may have led to her death but denied any intention to kill her.

"He admitted that he had lost his self control and attacked the deceased.”

The trial continues.

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