A horse trainer on trial for murdering her ex-boyfriend sobbed in court as she told a jury how she discovered his charred head in a bonfire.
Kirsti Windsor, 38, is accused of killing David Langdon, 40, and trying to destroy the evidence by burning his body on a bonfire.
She allegedly tried to incinerate his corpse repeatedly and even sipped red wine with a pal while watching his body go up in flames.
Windsor denies murdering landscape gardener Mr Langdon between August 9 and 12, 2008 and perverting the course of justice.
She wept as she told the jury at Worcester Crown Court how she discovered his remains after returning home from a weekend in the Lake District.
Windsor told the court she was at the couple’s remote Wood Cottage, in Wormelow, Herefordshire, when she saw her dog Molly sniffing the remains of the fire.
She said: “I saw something, I thought it was a head. I just turned around and ran back into the house screaming.
“I just fell in a heap on the floor and started crying. I just cried for hours and hours.”
Windsor told the jury she rang her mother in France and told her she thought she had found Mr Langdon’s body but was not “100 per cent sure”.
She then rang friends and told them there was “something vile” at their home before dialling 999 and telling police he had committed suicide.
On Wednesday she broke down in tears as she told the jury the effect the murder charge had had on her life.
She sobbed: ‘”‘ve had to drag myself out of bed and face everyone and face the world. I’ve had to be strong.”
Earlier in the trial the court heard Windsor had ended the couple’s four-year relationship after a series of violent rows.
She booted him out of the cottage they both shared but after she returned home she discovered he had not moved out.
Windsor is accused of killing him before asking her pal barmaid Katie Brown, 31, to help her destroy the body by burning it on a bonfire.
Brown denies perverting the course of justice by attempting to destroy a body by burning.
The court heard the pair sipped red wine and watched his body burn in the back garden the night before she rang the police.
Christopher Millington, QC, prosecuting, told the court Windsor had feared for her safety after Mr Langdon grabbed her round the throat.
He said that when she returned home she clubbed him unconscious “in a violent confrontation” before attempting to get rid of the evidence.
Mr Millington said Windsor had the “courage and strength to break in wild horses in her job” and could look after herself.
He added it was “unrealistic” to claim Mr Langdon committed suicide by lying on the bonfire.
The trial continues.