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Financier's wife 'sensed menace'

Financier's wife 'sensed menace'
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The wife of a successful City banker accused of murdering her sensed "a menace" about him, her sister has told a court.

Father-of-two Neil Ellerbeck, 46, who denies murder, is accused of strangling wife Katherine at their home in Enfield, north London. The Old Bailey heard he was jealous because of his wife's affairs. Susan Reed said tension was high in the house and said Mrs Ellerbeck felt uneasy when at home with her husband. Mrs Ellerbeck's body was discovered in her home in November.

Ms Reed said: "Tension was extremely high in the house, she was feeling such tension when he was there. There were a lot of rows. "She said she felt she caught him looking at her. She felt a menace but she didn't know what it was that she needed to be worried about." She added: "She felt he was planning something but she wasn't sure what. She felt very uneasy when they were in the house together." Earlier in the trial, prosecutors alleged Mr Ellerbeck was "obsessively jealous" and recorded calls between his wife, 45, and her lover who was a tennis coach.

'Following her'

Mr Ellerbeck was himself having an affair and had "squirreled" away money in fear of divorce, it was also alleged. Ms Reed said that Mrs Ellerbeck had become suspicious that her husband appeared to know her movements. She said: "He seemed to know if she had gone anywhere different or taken a different route anywhere. She said that she suspected that somehow he was following her movements in some way." Mrs Ellerbeck felt she was being monitored or followed, Ms Reed also alleged. She was becoming worried about this but did not go to the police because she thought no-one would believe her, the court heard.

Describing their marriage, Ms Reed said problems began when their mother died and Mrs Ellerbeck started to feel that her husband was not supportive.

The trial continues.

25 September 2009

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