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Father cannot understand son’s hammer attack on his wife at their home in Arminghall

11:58 12 December 2012

Police outside the house in Arminghall, south of Norwich where Angela Crompton was attacked. She later died in hospital.

Police outside the house in Arminghall, south of Norwich where Angela Crompton was attacked. She later died in hospital.

The father of a sculptor who killed his wife after striking her three times with a hammer said neither he nor his son could understand the attack which was “so far removed from the person he is”, a court has heard.

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Father-of-two Thomas Crompton, admits killing his wife, Angela, 34, but denies murdering her at their home on June 11 in Arminghall Lane, Arminghall, south of Norwich.

Norwich Crown Court has heard that a row had escalated after the couple, who were recently married, fell out over decorating their house.

Yesterday Ian Crompton, the defendant’s father, described how he went round to the house in Arminghall after speaking to his son on the phone following the attack.

He said: “I immediately realised by the way he spoke to me on the phone this was serious.”

Karim Khalil QC, defending, asked if he had ever seen anything in his son to suggest he was capable of violence towards others.

Mr Crompton, who insisted he had not seen anything to suggest he was capable of violence towards others –either towards man or animal – said: “It’s so far removed from the kind of person he is. I can’t understand it at all and I know that he still cannot understand.”

References were read out in court from friends, family, fellow sculptors and clients describing Crompton as a “kind”, “caring”, “thoughtful”, “loyal”, and “genuine” man who was a “loving” and “responsible” father.

Earlier the jury were shown the industrial hammer used by Crompton in the attack.

Crompton, who broke down on several occasions, said he could not remember leaving the house to get a hammer after initially strangling his wife following a row, but he did admit striking his wife once with the implement.

Tearfully, he said: “I hit my wife in the head with a hammer.”

Peter Gair, prosecuting, said there could be “no doubt” that in using the hammer he intended to do her a minimum of “really serious bodily harm”.

Crompton said: “I don’t ever remember wanting to hurt my wife.”

Mr Gair, who described Crompton as losing his temper and being in control, said he “started off trying to strangle her” before “doing a proper job”, getting a big hammer, aiming the shots and “smashed her brains in”.

He said: “And that’s what you did quite deliberately.”

The trial continues.

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