Former partner was ‘beaten to a pulp’, court hears

Julie Ann Gallagher, murder victim.
Julie Ann Gallagher, murder victim.
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A WOMAN allegedly stabbed to death by her husband told police officers months before the fatal attack: “He’s very scary when he gets angry.”

Julie Gallagher, aged 41, was found soaked in blood at her house on Foljambe Road, Eastwood, Rotherham, last March after suffering a single stab wound to the chest.

Julie’s husband, 55-year-old George Gallagher, is accused of murdering his wife after holding her at knifepoint.

Sheffield Crown Court heard Julie told police about Gallagher’s history of violent behaviour and that he regularly slapped and punched former partner Jean Smith.

Julie told officers Gallagher first hit her a year after their marriage in 2002, and once punched her “straight in the face” while on holiday in Zante, Greece.

The attack left her with two swollen and bruised eyes, she said in a statement.

“He’s very scary when he gets angry,” she added. “When he hits me he’s usually had a drink.”

Julie went to the police after a final assault in November 2009.

She said he grabbed her by the neck, dragged her across the floor by her hair, then locked her out of their home on Eldon Road, Eastwood.

“I was just cowering, trying to get away,” Julie said.

In interview, Gallagher denied beating Julie, saying: “I won’t touch her - she’s got an ulterior motive.”

Gallagher - nicknamed ‘Judd’ - began his 19-year relationship with Jean Smith in 1978, having three children with her.

Jean’s younger sister Janet Wilson, 44, said her personality changed from “cheerful and happy” to being “on edge all the time”.

“He would drag her round the house and give her a crack,” she said. “I didn’t like seeing my sister getting beaten to a pulp.”

Janet said she once hit Gallagher with a frying pan to stop him assaulting Jean.

Gallagher denies assault and murder. The trial continues.