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Accused of murdering his wife, man had previously “persuaded” her to have an abortion, witness testifies

by | Feb 24, 2016

By Dave Andrusko

Pianist Natalia Strelchenko

Pianist Natalia Strelchenko

Celebrated pianist Natalia Strelchenko, who had performed piano recitals at New York’s Carnegie Hall and London’s Wigmore Hall, was found with head injuries at her home in Newton Heath, Manchester, August 30. She died a short time later in a hospital.

John Martin, who has declared his innocence, is on trial for the murder of his Russian-born wife.

Today, the jury heard testimony from Strelchenko ‘s sister, Julie Strelchenko, that Martin, “a ‘controlling’ musician persuaded his lover to have an abortion against her wishes years before he strangled and beat her to death,” the BBC reported.

Ms. Strelchenko testified that she was not happy when the couple started an affair, as Martin was married. When her sister became pregnant, Martin “was not excited,” Julie told Manchester Crown Court.

“As I know this, he left her because she got pregnant,” she testified, according to the BBC. Julie went on to tell the court it was not her sister’s wish to have an abortion: “He absolutely did not want to have this kid and they resumed the relationship after she did the abortion.”

Julia Strelchenko testified that her sister told her in 2013 that

Martin had tried to strangle her during an argument and had thrown her on the pavement.

She told the jury she saw a scratch on her sister’s face, bruises to her neck, and bandages on her upper arm and hand.

Prosecutors claim (according to the BBC report) that

Mr. Martin, also known as Jon Skogsbakken, was jealous when his wife was apart from him and the envy worsened because her career had taken off while his had not.

Ms. Strelchenko was found with severe face and neck injuries at the couple’s Newton Heath home in the early hours of 30 August.

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Categories: Crime