Axe-killing lover 'an actress covering up her lies' jury told

A former escort girl who hacked her wealthy lover to death with an axe was "a very good actress" who tried to cover up her "planning, clean-up and lies" after the killing, a court has heard.

Jan Charlton, 36, killed Danny O'Brien after being told their relationship - and the luxury lifestyle she had grown accustomed to - was to end, a jury at Leeds Crown Court was told.

Mr O'Brien, 40, was found with an axe embedded in his head at the home they shared in Midgley, West Yorkshire, on May 23 last year. He was blindfolded and gagged, and had been struck at least 20 times.

Charlton, who admits killing Mr O'Brien but denies murder, claims lawful self-defence and provocation after he allegedly threatened to kill both her and her three-year-old daughter Amy.

In his closing speech for the prosecution, Paul Worsley QC said Charlton was not, as she earlier told the court, intending to leave Mr O'Brien, but "desperately trying to stay".

The prosecution allege that it was, in fact, Mr O'Brien who had asked Charlton to leave because he had decided to resume his relationship with former girlfriend Lynn Golland.

Mr Worsley added: "He had sufficient money for neither of them to have to work between Christmas and May. He satisfied her sexual appetite.

"She would not accept that all that was at an end because of another woman, and she would not accept that he would not agree over the money which she demanded when he told her to leave."

One would have to be, Mr Worsley said, "a very clever liar to get away with murder" and "very ruthless" to hack someone to death with an axe.

He added: "The prosecution case is that Mrs Charlton has all those qualities because a painstaking police investigation was carried out and has revealed the planning, the clean-up and the lies."

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