A HUSBAND has been convicted of killing his childhood sweetheart.

Steven Grainger, 32, was convicted of manslaughter but acquitted of murder by a jury at Reading Crown Court today (Wednesday).

Tragic Simone Grainger was killed at her home in Windsor Way, Calcot, last year.

Emergency services rushed to the scene but found the young woman wrapped in a rug and covered in bruising.

Prosecutors alleged that Grainger battered Simone with a saucepan and left her to die.

But Grainger, of Hatford Road, Reading, claimed he acted in self defence after his wife, who he had been with since the pair were teenagers, attacked him with a pair of scissors.

Grainger claimed that when he got up at around 5.30am to go to work, he found his wife dead on the living room floor.

He said: "I went to wake her up and touched her arm, but she was freezing cold. I didn't check her pulse but I knew she was dead. I didn't know what to do. Time stopped, it didn't seem real."

When asked why he didn't call an ambulance or the police, Grainger said: "I didn't know what to do. I was being a coward."

Grainger told the court that he went into the kitchen, got a pack of cigarettes and a saucepan and went back into the living room to smoke. He claimed that he used the saucepan as an ashtray as he didn't usually smoke in the house.

The 32-year-old denied striking Simone with the saucepan.

Earlier today, jurors convicted Grainger on a single charge of manslaughter after more than four hours of deliberations.

He will be sentenced at the same court tomorrow.