A CONVICTED thug killed his lover – then watched football on television as her dead body lay near him.
William Marshall attacked sports therapist Jennifer Edwards at her home in Kirkcaldy, Fife in June last year.
Callous Marshall went on to take cash from the 45 year-old’s bank account.
It was days after the killing Marshall dialled 999 claiming he had found his girlfriend dead.
But, a judge heard how he had earlier been spotted casually watching TV – despite Jennifer’s corpse also being in the blood stained flat.
Marshall, of Cowdenbeath, Fife, was eventually snared following a large-scale police probe.
He is now behind bars after he today/yesterday pled guilty to a charge of culpable homicide.
It emerged Marshall had previously been convicted of attacking Jennifer – who once told a friend she feared he would one day kill her.
The couple had been in a five year relationship prior to the killing.
Jennifer had moved to Scotland from New Zealand in 2000. She was a sports therapist at a number of gyms before working from home.
The High Court in Glasgow heard Marshall was already known to be violent towards his lover.
In 2014, Marshall was fined after being convicted of assaulting Jennifer to her injury.
Prosecutor Keith O’Mahony added there were a total of 84 “domestic incidents” logged by police.
Mr O’Mahony went on: “Numerous witnesses speak of Miss Edwards complaining about Marshall’s violence.
“He also made an admission to a family member that he had given her a black eye.
“In March 2015, she told a friend that she was frightened he might kill her one day.”
The court heard how those concerns became true just months later.
The charge Marshall pled guilty to was that – between June 8 and 14 – he killed Jennifer by “inflicting blunt force trauma to her head and body by means unknown”.
During those dates, Jennifer did not turn up for a dinner reservation for her birthday.
Marshall was meantime clocked on CCTV making a number of cash withdrawals using her bank card.
On June 13, the killer was then spotted sitting in her flat.
Mr O’Mahony: “A neighbour could see through the living room window that he was watching television.
“It was noted this coincided with the live broadcast of a well publicised football game.”
Scotland played the Republic of Ireland that evening in a European Championship qualifier in Dublin.
It was the next day Marshall dialled 999 insisting he had “come home” and found Jennifer “was not breathing”.
Paramedics arrived to discover the mum lying dead on a bedroom floor wearing just pants.
A mirrored wardrobe was smashed and blood appeared to be covered up with magazines.
Marshall claimed he had not seen his girlfriend since June 12.
Asked about the blood, he said: “She must have got sick in here and crawled through to the bedroom.”
Jennifer’s death was initially treated as unexplained.
But, in September 2015, police detained Marshall following a lengthy inquiry.
A post mortem revealed Jennifer had suffered bleeding on the brain.
It was found she had “sustained a number of blunt force injuries” but that the “exact mechanism” could not be determined.
Mr O’Mahony: “Death was placed at two to four days prior to her discovery.”
Marshall had originally faced a murder allegation today/yesterday before prosecutors accepted his guilty plea to the reduced charge.
He had also been accused of repeatedly assaulting his lover between October 2010 and June 2015.
This included claims he threw Jennifer against a wall, hit her head against a kitchen worktop and tried to strike her with a knife.
A not guilty plea was accepted for that charge.
Gordon Martin, defending, today/yesterday said Marshall’s memory of the fatal attack is that recalled pushing his girlfriend causing her to bang her head.
But, Judge Lady Rae questioned that stating: “That does not seem consistent to the (guilty) plea to me.”
Marshall’s bail was revoked and he was remanded in custody pending sentencing next month.
Following her death, Jennifer was described as a “talented and educated woman”.
Friend Kelly Johnston was quoted as saying: “She came from a well to do family. I think her dad – who has passed away – was head of the police in New Zealand.”