A DEPRESSED man who stabbed his cancer-surviving partner to death before plunging a blade into himself appeared in court for sentencing today.

Michael Rough was feeling down about his work when he knifed his girlfriend Jackie Pattenden to death at his home in Crowthorne.

The 55-year-old also thought his lover was having an affair with one of their close friends.

A courtroom packed with Ms Pattenden’s friends and family heard how police received a call from Rough’s home in Ellis Road saying he had stabbed his girlfriend, that she was dead and he was going to kill himself.

When emergency services arrived at the scene they found tragic Ms Pattenden, described by her son as an amazing mother, laid in a pool of blood on the bedroom floor with a stab wound to her chest.

She was declared dead at the scene in October last year.

Rough, who appeared at Reading Crown Court today (Monday), admitted manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility at an earlier hearing.

However, his sentencing was adjourned until tomorrow (Tuesday) afternoon.

Michael Roques, prosecuting, said Rough told police he believed Jackie was 'in cahoots' with a friend, Kevin Green, and that the pair were responsible for his financial troubles.

The prosecutor said: “He (Rough) phoned 999.

“He said ‘I have just stabbed my girlfriend’ and that she was in the bedroom.

“The operator asked if she was breathing and he replied ‘no she’s dead’.

“He confirmed he was in the bedroom with her and told the operator he was going to stab himself, which he did.

“He said they (Ms Pattenden and Mr Green) had colluded to harm him, to harm his business and to harm him financially.

“He said he had no evidence other than a suspicion.”

Rough later revealed how he confronted Ms Pattenden in the bedroom before bundling her into the corner and stabbing her.

He told doctors she had begged him not to harm her and that she was frightened.

Local Berkshire:

Jackie Pattenden was killed by Rough in October Last year.

The prosecutor added: “He said she was panicking and screaming at him.

“He recalled the terror in her face.”

The judge also heard how Rough was struggling with his finances after he lost a major contract for his business as a tree surgeon.

He had visited his GP and was prescribed anti-depressants and sleeping pills.

Psychiatrists who interviewed the defendant while he was in custody concluded he had “moderate” depression and his condition was not severe.

Paying tribute to his mother, Phil Pattenden said she had been the happiest he had seen her the whole year after ending cancer treatment.

In a statement, he said: "She was amazing and incredibly strong.

“My grandad was unlawfully killed by his partner.

“To go through this once with my grandad was bad enough.

“No matter what life threw at her she would take it in her stride and always remained positive.

“She meant everything to every family member close and distant and to all her friends old and new.

“This was a true reflection to mum’s generous and chatty nature.

“She loved nothing more than going out to the garage with a glass of wine and her two cats and speaking to family members on the phone or by video call.

“I had never seen her so happy. She had just come off her cancer medication and she was ecstatic.

“No matter how long the sentence is it will never be enough for taking my beautiful, kind and funny mother away.”

Rough admitted a single count of manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility at an earlier hearing.

Judge John Reddihough adjourned the sentencing until tomorrow (Tuesday) afternoon.

More follows.