Wife denies murder after kitchen ‘tussle’ — (Surrey Today)

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Surrey Today

By edward gent edward.gent@essnmedia.co.uk

May 26, 2011

JUSTICE: A woman is standing trial over the murder of her husband

THE trial has begun of a former special-needs teacher accused of stabbing her husband to death over his relationship with her best friend.

Patricia Wakeford, 67, is charged with murdering her 75-year-old husband Anthony, who suffered from Parkinson’s disease, at their home in Norwood Road, Effingham. She denies the charge.

On Monday the jury at Guildford Crown Court heard a seriously ill Mr Wakeford had confessed the affair when he thought he was dying in 2006.

But he recovered, leaving his wife with a “simmering” obsession which finally boiled over on September 3 or 4 last year, the prosecution claimed.

Prosecutor Alexia Durran said: “At 4.38am on September 4 last year, a 999 call was made by Patricia Wakeford.

“In her call she told them her husband had Parkinson’s.

“In her words, he ‘went a bit loony tonight and he attacked me and I attacked him and there’s blood everywhere, I don’t think he’s breathing’.”

Paramedics found Mr Wakeford lying on his bedroom floor with a stab wound to the chest that had punctured his heart, as well as cuts to his arms and legs.

Despite attempts to resuscitate him, Mr Wakeford was pronounced dead at the scene at 5.24am, and Mrs Wakeford was arrested.

Miss Durran recounted Mrs Wakeford’s words to police officers on the way to the station: “She said ‘He’s been my only one since I was 17 and I’m nearly 68. I can’t believe I did it. He went so wild, if only he hadn’t shouted and shouted’.”

Following her arrest, Mrs Wakeford’s solicitor gave a statement to police in which she claimed her husband became enraged after she brought up the affair.

She said he came at her and she picked up a Kitchen Devil knife with which she had been peeling vegetables and a tussle ensued.

Mrs Wakeford claimed she prodded her husband’s chest, hands and leg before going to bed, unaware of the severity of his injuries.

However, Miss Durran told the jury that expert analysis showed someone had cleaned up blood in the kitchen.

The jury also heard evidence from Mrs Wakeford’s daughter Sarah Lee, who said her mother had threatened suicide on occasion and was prescribed antidepressants after the affair came out.

She added: “The disclosure of the affair was really quite devastating but she was determined to stand by him and be a good wife.

“From time to time it would come up in conversation and Dad would tell her things quite matter-of-factly that were incredibly hurtful.

“I said to Mum ‘I don’t think he is quite the same person he would be if he didn’t have this illness – he wouldn’t be so cruel’.”

The case continues.