Man Denies Essex Attack Murder

A man stabbed an Essex woman more than 50 times in a "sustained and savage" attack after she answered her door in her nightdress, a court has heard.

Howard Livings, 30, is accused of murdering clerical worker Tina Bennett, 47, on Easter Sunday this year.

Prosecutor Andrew Jackson told jurors at Chelmsford Crown Court that Livings had carried out a "carefully planned attack on a woman, vulnerable in her own home".

He left her in a pool of blood, Mr Jackson added.

Her sister, Andrea Bennett, made the grim discovery when she visited the house after growing concerned when Ms Bennett failed to arrive for a family lunch on Easter Monday.

Mr Jackson said Livings, who knew Ms Bennett "slightly" as she was his best friend's aunt, arrived at her home in Keeble Way, Braintree, in the early hours of the morning armed with a large kitchen knife and cable ties.

Mr Jackson said: "When he got to Tina Bennett's house she got up and let him in. She was wearing a nightdress and dressing gown.

"Once they were in her living room, in what we say was an act of sustained and savage brutality, he murdered her. He stabbed her more than 50 times to the neck, head, chest and abdomen. He used severe force - such that one wound went right through her body.

"Defence wounds to her hand and arms show she fought desperately to defend herself. But the blood loss from her heart meant she died in a matter of minutes."

Livings, from Maysent Avenue, Braintree, denies murder. The trial is expected to last two weeks.

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