Wednesday 17 January 2018

'I loved him' - new bride denies stabbing her husband to death but admits holding knife

Manchester Crown Court
Manchester Crown Court

A new bride accused of stabbing her solicitor husband through the heart has told a court that she "loved him" and denied killing him.

Mother-of-four Sharon Edwards, 42, accepts that she was holding the knife at the time the wound was inflicted upon David Edwards on the afternoon of their two-month wedding anniversary, but said she did not push the blade into his chest.

A jury at Manchester Crown Court heard evidence from Edwards as the defence began their case in the two-week trial.

Edwards, who sobbed throughout her evidence, said her husband, whom she married in Las Vegas on June 28 2015, was "jealous" and would call her names.

Mr Edwards was found dead in their bed in Chorley, Lancashire, on August 23 2015, hours after they returned home from a holiday in Majorca.

He had suffered a 3in (8cm) stab wound to the chest in the second of two knife attacks at their home in as many days.

The Crown say that Edwards, who "perhaps quite liked the idea of being Mrs Edwards, a solicitor's wife", had regularly beaten her husband and he would often turn up to work with scratch marks and bruises.

She admitting slapping her husband across the face on one occasion and was subsequently arrested but later released.

After being told that he was being made redundant, the court heard that arguments between the couple had ensued.

Edwards said her husband would regularly fall over when in drink and after his firm, Stanley H Cross and Co in which he was a partner, merged with Kevills Solicitors, he began to drink more.

Edwards accepts that she was holding the knife at the time of the incident, but claims that he walked into it.

Barrister David Fish QC asked her: "Did you push that knife into him deliberately?"

She replied: "No, I didn't."

Mr Fish continued: "Did you push it in intentionally?"

Edwards said: "No, I didn't."

"Did you at any time during that incident on Sunday afternoon intend to kill him?" Mr Fish asked.

She sobbed: "No, I didn't. I love him."

Mr Fish asked: "Did you intend to cause him really serious harm?"

Edwards said: "No, I didn't."

The court was told that Edwards first met her husband-to-be on her 27th birthday when the solicitor was representing her former partner, John Pritchard, in court after he was accused of assaulting her.

During the trial in May 2000, Mr Edwards cross-examined Edwards.

Mr Pritchard was subsequently cleared and Edwards told the court that Mr Edwards had done "a very good job".

Their paths crossed again in 2011 when she contacted him regarding a neighbour dispute.

She told the court that, in May 2014, Mr Edwards sent her a Facebook friend request and, after exchanging messages for around a month, they met on June 28 - a year before they married.

Edwards told the court the relationship had been "very intense, very passionate, very loving", and after two weeks he had telephoned her to declare his love for her, which she said she found "a bit strange".

The court heard that the couple would drink every other day but, as the relationship developed, their drinking increased and by October 2 2014, it was "out of control".

Edwards said she remembered the date because it was the day her husband had met the partner of his new firm, Kevills Solicitors, with which his company was merging.

The court heard that he had previously "loved his job" but Edwards told the court he "didn't like" the partner of the new firm.

She said that after meeting the woman and returning home, he went to the off-licence for wine before returning a second time for more.

She said he was "extremely drunk" and was to fall down the stairs, breaking his collarbone and three ribs and leaving his arm in a sling.

Edwards said she did not remember arguing with her partner before February but things were to go "downhill" after the changing situation at work, adding that he felt his former legal partner had "sold up the river".

She said: "He was always busy, it was horrific. He told me he couldn't cope, he couldn't manage.

"He hated it, he absolutely hated it. He couldn't adjust to not being a partner, he just couldn't adjust to having to get permission for everything. He didn't get on with them. It was terrible."

She said her husband had even cried when he came home from work on occasions and when stressed he would call her a "whore", "slut", and say "16", referring to her teenage pregnancy.

She added: "He would say 'Turkey' quite a lot. I had been to Turkey four years previously, David had seen some photographs, I went with my mum and two daughters. The photo was with another lady and her son. He thought I had a fling with a man."

The court has previously heard that a mobile police patrol had witnessed Edwards shouting and screaming during the early hours of August 23 in which she was overheard saying 'I'm gonna f****** kill ya'."

The trial continues.

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