A man has admitted murdering his estranged wife in a “horrific” machete attack in the street, police said.

Craig Woodhall, 41, pleaded guilty to stabbing his wife Victoria multiple times after chasing her from their Barnsley home, South Yorkshire Police said.

Detectives said CCTV footage recovered from the scene showed Woodhall dragged the 31-year-old to the ground and stabbed her several times with a “Gurkha-style machete knife” before walking away, but returned twice to inflict more injuries.

Mrs Woodhall, who worked at Rotherham General Hospital, suffered “significant and extensive” injuries in the “brutal and sustained” 29 March attack which was carried out in front of several people, police said.

A post-mortem examination concluded she died as a result of multiple incised wounds.

“The violence she suffered was so extreme that she had multiple skull fractures, as well as significant injuries to her head, face, neck, arms, hands, shoulders and back,” said Detective Inspector Ben Wood.

“While I am pleased that Woodhall has accepted responsibility for his crime, this will do little to comfort Victoria’s family and loved ones. I send my deepest condolences to them as they come to terms with their loss.

“This was a horrific attack, I know this incident caused a significant deal of distress within the local community, especially among those residents who witnessed the murder.”

Tributes were paid to the healthcare worker by Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust after her death.

Angela Wood, chief nurse at the trust, said: “She was a cherished and much-loved colleague working in our operating theatres.”

Woodhall pleaded guilty to murder during a hearing at Sheffield Crown Court on Friday.

He was remanded in custody and will be sentenced on 2 October.