Night of passion ends violently — (Perth Now)

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Perth Now

John Flint

March 30, 2007 10:00pm

A NIGHT of passion for pensioner Alan Barker almost turned deadly when his younger lover attacked him with a World War I bayonet. Mr Barker, 66, of Bassendean, needed 12 stitches after the attack.

Mr Barker alleges his de facto partner Donna Lee Smith, 48, earlier tried to poison him with passion-fruit dessert.

He is furious that she received only a community service order after pleading guilty to unlawful wounding in Midland Magistrates Court last month.

A hospital report stated that he had suffered multiple lacerations to his head, abdomen and leg.

“I am convinced she tried to kill me,” Mr Barker said.

The magistrate described the case as “bizarre”.

He said to Smith: “You attacked this man with a jug and a lamp and then you got a sword out and he incurred 12 sutures as a result.

“I can only assume it was as a result of your medication and over-consumption of alcohol.”

Smith’s lawyer told the court that she had been on anti-depressants for about eight years. The medication had reacted with alcohol to prompt a “completely uncharacteristic act”.

“She was in a situation where she didn’t want to have sex that particular night and I think the relationship on that front had been going downhill for a period of time,” he said.

“Her seven-year-old child was away in Port Macquarie with her ex-husband and so I would say that there was the perfect opportunity for that activity to occur.

“She didn’t want it. There were requests put on, the pressure built up and that’s how it resolved.”

Smith, a seamstress, was ordered to perform 120 hours community service. She has since moved to New South Wales.

Mr Barker this week told The Sunday Times that it was Smith who initiated sex on January 7.

“Donna and I met 30 odd years ago,” he said. “We had a four-year relationship then. I never forgot her and when she contacted me five years ago, I was more than happy.”

Romance blossomed a second time and Mr Barker said everything seemed fine until the attack occurred.

“It seemed a perfect relationship,” he said.  “The only cross words we exchanged were after her brother came to live with us. I was in love with her.”

Mr Barker was unable to tell his version of events in court because Smith pleaded guilty.

He said he was nodding off to sleep after sex when the attack occurred.

“Next I heard a very loud noise and felt an impact on my head _ it was a white porcelain water jug,” he said.

“I tried to get out of bed and was struck twice on the head _ this time with a heavy brass lamp base. I was disoriented. I was yelling out, `What are you doing?’

“I pulled the lamp from her hand and struck out against her _ it slowed her down.”
Mr Barker ran from the bedroom towards the kitchen.

“I ran to the back door and in my haste I fumbled the key,” Mr Barker said. “I couldn’t see properly to get it back in the lock because there was a lot of blood in my left eye.

“I turned around to see Donna approaching me fast with the World War I sword bayonet we had as a souvenir, normally kept on top of the TV cabinet. I tried to take it from her, succeeding only to pull the scabbard from the blade.

“She was swinging it quite violently. I received a slash on my right leg and was only able to take the weapon from her when she made a thrust at my chest; I turned quickly sideways and pulled the bayonet from her hand.

“I ran for the front door, undid the security chain and opened the door. I was bleeding from a number of wounds.

“There was a moment of peace. Donna was sitting down with the phone, calling the police. She said she had been attacked. She started to roll a cigarette. I asked if she would roll one for me as my hands were too bloody to do so.

“She screamed `Get away from me’ and threw my coffee cup at me; it smashed against the wall.”

After police and ambulances arrived, he was taken to Royal Perth Hospital and Smith was taken to Swan District Hospital.

The next day, Mr Barker posted bail for his partner, thinking she had succumbed to temporary insanity, and spent an uncomfortable night under the same roof.

“I slept very lightly that night,” he said.

He has subsequently accused Smith of trying to poison his dessert that night.

“Detectives informed me that she admitted to putting the strong painkiller Mersyndol in the dessert. This explained the bitter taste and why she was so eager to wash it down the sink when I wouldn’t eat it.”