A WOMAN stabbed in the chest and throat at her Westcliff home made a series of calls for help in the months leading up to her death, a court heard.

Leanne Meecham, 26, phoned and texted her second cousin between five and ten times asking him to come round as she was having problems with her partner.

Chelmsford Crown Court heard yesterday that on one occasion her cousin saw her with bruises on her throat and arms. Her former partner and step-dad Simon Meecham, 42, denies murdering Leanne, of Park Street, Westcliff, but accepts he was responsible for her injuries.

Giving evidence yesterday, Leanne’s second cousin, Darren Williams, said: “She had a bruise on her throat, it looked like a thumbprint.

“There were bruises on her arms leading up to her shoulders and it looked like she had been restrained.”

He told the jury how he asked Leanne what had happened and she told him Meecham was responsible.

The trial heard how Leanne would call Mr Williams and ask him to come round as she was having problems with Meecham, who she was in a relationship with for six years.

Mr Williams said he would stay until things calmed down and make sure she was all right.

Meecham was arrested for assaulting Leanne and moved out and went to live with his sister in Rosewood Lane, Shoebury. Mr Williams said Meecham was not happy with the break up, but that Leanne’s life was on the up.

He told the jury: “He told me he was not coping very well with the end of the relationship. There were calls begging her to take him back and calls saying if he could not have her, nobody else would.”

Mr Williams added: “She had moved on with her life and was a lot happier.”

The prosecution alleges Meecham murdered Leanne by going around to her home at 8.30am on February 13 this year and stabbing her in the throat and upper chest with a knife he took from his sister’s kitchen.

Leanne was flown by air ambulance to the Royal London Hospital, but died a week later from her injuries. Meecham was arrested after he was spotted on Thorpe Bay seafront a short time after the stabbing. He had stabbed himself three times, including once in the liver, the court has heard.

The trial continues.