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Monday, February 22, 2016
Solicitor 'stabbed to death by newlywed wife had told pals she could knock him out with one punch'
A newlywed solicitor was stabbed to death by his "violent and "jealous" wife weeks after they returned from getting married in Las Vegas, a court has heard.
Sharon Edwards, 42, who, "perhaps quite liked the idea of being Mrs Edwards, a solicitor's wife", is accused of murdering criminal lawyer David Edwards, 51, at their home in Chorley, Lancashire, after returning from a holiday in Spain.
A jury of eight women and four men sitting at Manchester Crown Court were told that the couple married in Las Vegas on June 28 2015, but less than two months later Mr Edwards, who had previously been a partner in a local firm, was dead.
Blonde Edwards, who was described as "domineering", possessive" and "very jealous", was said to have beaten her husband throughout the course of their brief relationship.
Prosecuting, Anne Whyte QC said: "Less than two months later (after wedding) on August 23, the same year, she, we say, killed him at home with a kitchen knife during a domestic argument."
The court heard that alleged domestic violence victim Mr Edwards had even been recorded saying his new wife could "knock him out with one punch" and that she hit "rather hard".
Jurors were told that Mr Edwards had been "under the thumb" after meeting his wife-to-be in June 2014.
He was said to have been "plainly besotted" with the defendant, who appeared in the dock wearing a white shirt and black blazer, flanked by a woman officer.
Miss Whyte added: "The prosecution do say that Sharon Edwards was violent towards David Edwards well before his death and that David Edwards' response to that violence was to tolerate it and not report it to the police.
"Despite the turbulence that was to characterise their relationship, he was plainly besotted with her and plainly felt that she was the one for him."
Edwards formally entered a plea of not guilty when she was arraigned on the first day of her trial. She required headphones to listen to proceedings.
The court heard that, upon returning from Spain on August 22, the couple had argued and Edwards' 19-year-old daughter - who is to be a witness for the prosecution - saw Mr Edwards in the bathroom, "calling for help" and cleaning blood from his chest.
Upon confronting her mother, jurors were told that Edwards said she had put a knife to his chest but had not intended to hurt him.
The court heard that Mr Edwards would not say what had happened and despite bleeding from the chest and leg and being "visibly injured", the couple went out to the pub.
Miss Whyte added: "There was blood on his T-shirt and shorts and around his leg. There was a cut to his head and blood coming down his neck. People expressed concern about him (at the pub) although Sharon Edwards notably did not."
Jurors were told the couple were in a habit of drinking too much but that Mr Edwards' consumption increased after meeting his partner and, with it, "his injuries certainly increased".
The pair were later found arguing in the street where Edwards was "behaving in an accusing way" before being taken home by police.
The following morning Mr Edwards was found dead in bed with visible injuries to him.
Blood was also found on the carpet and in the kitchen.
During the couple's relationship, Mr Edwards' friends and colleagues were said to have been "very concerned" for his welfare after seeing his injuries.
Miss Whyte added that he would say he fell down the stairs or had walked into the garage.
"They were injuries which he would, quite often, seek to minimise when people asked him about. Those who knew him were highly sceptical about his protestations that his injuries had been caused accidentally."
Others said they started to see a decline in "his appearance, his professionalism as a solicitor, in his self-respect".
Miss Whyte said he would appear at court looking dishevelled and had disclosed to some colleagues that he had been hit with objects including a coffee table, an ashtray and had his ear bitten.
"As time went on he seemed to care less and less about the visibility of his injuries almost as though he accepted them as something inevitable.
"Having been assaulted and injured by her he was very obviously treading on eggshells to appease her."
Before his holiday he was asked not to come back into work which "was perhaps just one of the reasons why the holiday was not an unmitigated success."