Pauline Caster murder trial: Yorkshire wife denies killing Army veteran husband at their home during row over a woman

A wife has denied killing her Army veteran husband at their home in Rotherham as her trial for murder got underway at Sheffield Crown Court today.

Pauline Caster, 44, has pleaded not guilty to murdering her 43-year-old husband, Kevin Caster, who was found seriously injured at their home on High Hazel Crescent, Catcliffe, Rotherham, on October 19, 2021, and was later pronounced dead at hospital on the same day.

Prosecuting barrister Imran Shafi said: “South Yorkshire Police and the Yorkshire Ambulance Service received a call at 21.56 on October 18, 2021, to report that the defendant Pauline Caster at High Hazel Crescent, Catcliffe, had run into the street screaming for help stating that her husband was dead.”

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Mr Shafi said that paramedics found Kevin Caster lying on the floor in cardiac arrest and he was observed to have bruising and facial swelling.

Kevin Caster served in the Army as a young manKevin Caster served in the Army as a young man
Kevin Caster served in the Army as a young man

White tablets were also found near the former soldier, according to Mr Shafi, and the defendant and a neighbour had commenced CPR before the emergency services arrived.

Mr Shafi said: “The prosecution say it was a serious and sustained assault by the defendant together with an ingestion of Lamotrigine – a prescription drug that had been prescribed to the defendant.”

He described the couple’s relationship as volatile, punctuated with almost daily arguments and characterised by low-level violence upon each other. They had both habitually abused drugs and alcohol, he said.

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Neighbours, friends and family recalled the couple, who were parents to three children, living a ‘chaotic lifestyle’, according to Mr Shafi, and police had attended their home on numerous occasions in relation to domestic disturbances.

Mr Shafi said that on October 19, 2021, one witness stated she had heard arguing and the defendant shouting and another had heard Pauline Caster telling her husband to go ‘back to that slag’ and not bother coming home.

A further witness has stated that they had heard the defendant shouting for help and claiming her husband had beaten her, according to Mr Shafi, and another witness stated that she had seen the defendant running in and out of the house saying her husband had beaten her.

Mr Shafi said that yet another witness had stated that she had heard Pauline Caster say, ‘Are you hurting you b*****d?’, and she could hear grunting as though the defendant was hitting Mr Caster and that it appeared to her that the defendant had been moving in an aggressive way.

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Another neighbour stated she had heard someone saying, ‘Help me, help me, I think my husband is dead’, according to Mr Shafi, and a further witness went into the property and saw Mr Caster on the floor with bruising and blood around his mouth with white pills nearby.

CCTV footage of the couple’s home allegedly captured the accused stamping, punching and striking down towards the floor with her arms flailing, according to Mr Shafi.

Mr Shafi said: “The prosecution say the defendant stamps on and kicks Kevin Caster who was prone on the floor.”

He added that the accused allegedly told a paramedic that Mr Caster had been involved in an altercation while he had been out and when he returned he had taken tablets and police officers said they saw Kevin Caster lying on his back with facial injuries.

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Phone evidence later showed a video of the couple arguing, according to Mr Shafi, and an audio recording captures the couple talking about a threesome and the defendant, now of Harmony Way, Catcliffe, being upset about another woman.

The court heard that Kevin Caster’s injuries included numerous facial injuries with bruising and abrasions around his eyes, bruising to the nose and chin, lacerations to his upper lip, scalp wounds, fractured ribs and injuries to his chest, abdomen and back.

A post-mortem examination concluded the injuries could have proved fatal, according to Mr Shafi, but the mixed drug toxicity may also have proved fatal and that the death was caused by a combination of his injuries and the drugs - in particular the epilepsy drug Lamotrigine.

Mr Shafi said: “The defendant’s anger erupted that day, compelling her to launch into a ferocious, sustained, barbaric and pitiless attack on her husband who lay prone on the ground quite unable to defend himself.”

The trial continues.