A MUM found her close friend soaking wet, half-naked and hysterical after her partner tried to ‘drown’ her in the bath, a court heard.

Richard Evans denies the attempted murder of Jane Webster in the bath of his home in Ronkswood Hill, Worcester. The 48-year-old admits assault occasioning actual bodily harm and making a threat to kill her during the attack on July 4 last year.

Mrs Webster’s friend, Debbie Heason, appeared as a witness at Worcester Crown Court on Tuesday over live videolink.

Mrs Heason had been talking to Mrs Webster at the Gun Tavern on the day of the attack. Evans had left the pub first, before 7pm, followed by Mrs Webster and Mrs Heason who remained in contact via text message during the evening.

Mrs Heason said she later got a phone call from the pub landlady telling her that Monty, the dog owned by Evans and Mrs Webster, was running up and down the road. As a result, she said she went to Evans’s house, getting a lift in her son’s girlfriend’s car.

Examined by prosecutor Jennifer Josephs, Mrs Heason estimated she got to her friend’s address about 8.55pm and knocked on the door but there was ‘no answer’.

Mrs Heason said Monty met her in the back garden and she noticed the back door was wide open.

The witness described hearing Mrs Webster shouting: “Help! Help! Somebody please help!”

Mrs Heason told the jury she shouted back ‘Jane! It’s Debbie!’ before running up the stairs. Mrs Webster was lying across the landing with nothing on her bottom half.

“She was soaking wet. She was hysterical. She said ‘he tried to put my head under the water. He tried to kill me,’” said Mrs Heason.

Evans was still in the bathroom with his back to her, wet from the waist down and also wet from the elbows down, she told the jury. Mrs Heason said Evans wanted to help Jane Webster put on her pyjama bottoms. Mrs Heason collected these from the bedroom ‘just to cover Jane up, for dignity’.

Evans swore and said ‘what is going on here?’, she said.

She described him ‘swaying with his arms out’ and said her friend could not lift her head from her chest.

“There was water coming through the ceiling” said Mrs Heason. Mrs Heason said they took Mrs Webster and Monty to her house. She told the jury she did not have eye contact or speak to Evans as her concern was for Jane. Mrs Heason, who had known the couple for five years, had noticed injuries to her friend including a lump on the back of her neck, a bloodshot and swollen eye and scratches on her cheek. She was also aware of a previous assault on Mrs Webster by the defendant when he had pushed her into a hedge.

Cross-examined by Nicholas Berry, for Evans, Mrs Heason said: “I couldn’t speak to Richard. I was totally ashamed of what I could see. I didn’t want to speak to him or see him.”

Mr Berry put it to her that Mrs Webster was happier since moving in with Evans. However, Mrs Heason said: “I also think that was because she had a flat of her own and was able to have some space away from Richard as and when she felt she wanted to.”

She said she could remember seeing water flowing over the sides of the bath and estimated there was an inch of water on the bathroom floor.

The trial continues.