Ex lover was ‘possessive’

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The ex-husband of a mum stabbed to death in Sheffield told a court she’d told him her alleged murderer was ‘possessive’ and ‘overpowering’ - days before the killing.

Dawn Backhouse, aged 31, was knifed through the heart at her home in Langsett Grove, Walkley.

Jurors heard the violent attack was carried out by 45-year-old Mark Hatter because he was ‘unable to accept’ Dawn wanted to end their relationship, leave Sheffield and be with another man.

Hatter - who denies murder - allegedly took a blade from his house on Hammerton Road, Hillsborough, climbed into Dawn’s house through an upstairs window and stabbed her.

Neighbours heard screams and one heard a man shouting ‘Die, die’.

Andrew Backhouse, Dawn’s third husband, told Sheffield Crown Court they had moved to the city from Maidstone, Kent, in 2008.

Mr Backhouse, originally from Sheffield, said the couple moved so they could live in a house of their own.

“Dawn saw the move as a fresh start for her - we both made the decision together,” he said.

He told the jury they separated in 2010 but remained on good terms.

Mr Backhouse said they met up on June 18 this year at Meadowhall, so he could pick up their young daughter.

He said: “She got quite a few texts and phone calls, she seemed to be getting a bit anxious.

“I said to her ‘What’s the matter?’ and she said ‘It’s him, he keeps ringing me’.”

He said he understood the caller to be Hatter, adding: “I think she said he was a little bit possessive and overpowering sometimes.”

He continued: “I thought she’d told him she didn’t want to be with him any more and he wouldn’t accept it.”

Following Dawn’s death on June 23, Mr Backhouse told police he thought Hatter was a ‘weirdo’ and that he took an instant dislike to him.

Jeffrey Samuels QC, defending, told the jury Hatter was with Dawn’s elder daughter Stephanie while they were at Meadowhall.

“It’s hardly possessive to keep the mother informed while looking after their child,” he said.

The trial continues.