A forensic scientist has told how the blood of murdered former Oxfordshire woman Carol Evans was smeared around her home.

Andrew Palmer told Northampton Crown Court that traces of the 40-year-old's blood were found on furniture, walls, carpets and clothing at her Peterborough home. He said they indicated that Mrs Evans had been struck several times.

Her lodger Peter Airey, 28, is accused of battering his landlady to death in the hall and hiding her body in an outhouse. The body was found on April 24 last year.

Minute traces of blood on a hammer, which the prosecution says could have been the murder weapon, could have been from Mrs Evans, said Mr Palmer. The jury has also heard how Airey told a taxi driver he was going to Spain at about the time Mrs Evans was found dead. Airey denies murder, but has pleaded guilty to theft, obtaining property by deception and falsely using Mrs Evans' cheque book. The case continues.