Crossways husband guilty of attempting to murder wife
8:43am Friday 19th June 2009
By Harry Hogger »
WIFE-BEATER Joseph Kiss has been found guilty of attempted murder for a brutal attack which was likened to a ‘scene out of a horror movie’.
Kiss was found guilty of trying to kill his wife of over 20 years by striking her repeatedly with a bottle of sparkling wine while she was lying in bed at their home in Crossways on June 13 last year.
- I have never seen injuries of that extent or severity before. I was distressed by her injuries. The bed and the wall were blood soaked to such an extent that I was forced to look away. I could only describe what I saw as a scene from a horror movie.
- PC Nicholas Gravenor
The defendant remained passive as the jury revealed its verdict at Dorchester Crown Court and Judge Samuel Wiggs told him sentencing would be delayed while a psychiatric report on him was prepared, which could take several weeks.
Odd job man Kiss, 47, of Brewers Walk, Crossways, was remanded in custody and faces a maximum punishment of life imprisonment for the offence.
Following the verdict police praised the strength of mother-of-three Donna Kiss after her husband was convicted for the brutal attack.
Detective Chief Inspector Marcus Hester, from Weymouth CID, said after the trial: “The verdict was the correct verdict in the eyes of Mrs Kiss’s family and the court.
“I must pay tribute to the strength of Donna Kiss and her family in what has been a horrific year for them.
“In due course the court will deal with Mr Kiss as they see fit.”
DCI Hester added that Mrs Kiss was lucky to survive the attack, which left her with severe facial injuries including lacerations to her ear and face, a broken jaw, nose and eye socket and knocked out several teeth.
Kiss had claimed that he could not remember the incident and was not criminally responsible for his actions due to the effects of prescribed sleeping tablets and anti-depressants he had been taking at the time as he struggled to come to terms with the fact his wife wanted a divorce.
He said he remembered going to bed that evening and the next thing he recalled was hearing a dog barking and leaving his wife’s bedroom before realising he was covered in blood.
The prosecution case claimed the effects of the medication was just a convenient excuse, and Kiss had intended to kill his wife because he was angry about the impending break-up of their marriage.
DCI Hester said: “This was a sustained, pre-planned attack on a mother whilst she was asleep in her bed with the intention of killing her.
“It is fortuitous, I believe that on June 13 last year Donna Kiss didn’t lose her life.”
In a brief statement issued through DCI Hester after the trial, Mrs Kiss selflessly paid tribute to the jurors in the trial and Detective Sergeant Paul Auger, who was in charge of the investigation.
She said: “I am very grateful to the jury for the verdict and would like to personally thank DS Paul Auger for his excellent work over the past year.”
Police and paramedics who were first called to the scene of the attack have been commended for keeping their cool when faced with ‘a scene of horror’.
The ferocious nature of Kiss’s attack on his wife even left 999 service crews shocked.
Earlier in the trial, one police officer called out to the Kiss home in Crossways said the bedroom was like ‘a scene from a horror movie’ and a paramedic who treated Donna Kiss said it was one of the most horrific things she had witnessed in her career.
Jurors heard a statement from PC Nicholas Gravenor, who helped the ambulance crew escort Mrs Kiss to an ambulance and stayed at the property to investigate the crime scene.
He said: “I have never seen injuries of that extent or severity before. I was distressed by her injuries.”
He added: “The bed and the wall were blood soaked to such an extent that I was forced to look away. I could only describe what I saw as a scene from a horror movie.”
The jury also heard from paramedic Tamisa Hicks, who had been working in the ambulance service for 17 years, who treated Mrs Kiss at the scene.
She said: “I was led into the bedroom, the lights were on, and I saw one of the most horrific sights I have ever seen in my career.
“A lady who I now know to be Donna Kiss was sat up on the bed, covered from head to toe in blood.
“She was sat with congealed blood all around her head, there was blood on the walls and spatters of blood on the ceiling.”
DCI Marcus Hester praised all those who attended, as well as staff at Dorset County Hospital where Mrs Kiss was treated, for keeping their heads and carrying out their duties in the circumstances.
He said: “The officers attending the scene along with the paramedics faced a scene of horror but acted professionally and quickly along with casualty staff in saving Mrs Kiss’ life.
“I would like to thank all those involved in all agencies.”
Residents of Brewers Walk in Crossways said they were shocked to learn of Joseph Kiss’s vicious attack behind closed doors.
A neighbour, who did not wish to be named, said: “Mrs Kiss is a lovely person.
“Everyone around here feels so sorry for her.
“After it happened I didn’t see her for a while. I’d always see her walking her labrador before that.”
Another neighbour remembers hearing voices and seeing paramedics come to Mrs Kiss’s rescue after she received life-threatening injuries.
Drinkers at the Tavern Social Club in Crossways remember seeing Kiss visit the club on Friday evenings to play pool.
A club committee member said: “He was very quiet and always kept himself to himself.
“He didn’t drink much.”
A club regular, who wished to remain anonymous, said he was stunned that Kiss was capable of committing the crime.
He added: “It’s against his nature. I never saw him with his wife.”