Wife murders husband in Witley 1987

1987, 21 October: Alan Hurlow: myself and Gary Parkin were part of the action teams involved with the murder of a man by his wife who lived off the Petworth Road, Witley in a cul-de-sac called Woodpeckers or Swallow Close. She apparently struck him with something about the head, then went for coffee round a neighbours house then worked nights at Godalming Post Office. I believe she came home the next morning and 'found' him. I think she thought he was seeing someone else. She got three years.

John Thorne: Peckhams, Oxted Green, Milford. The wife, who was a post woman at Godalming sorting office, came home and battered her husband to death as he lay on the settee. I was a funeral director at Gorringes and was asked by CID to remove the body to Royal Surrey County Hospital (RSCH) mortuary. I believe she got three years; I know there was an outcry locally about the sentence!

Bob Taylor: I was a Detective Sergeant at Guildford at the time and was the arresting and interviewing officer in this case along with Leslie Cross. Her husband was a farm manager with Loosely Farms and had failed to turn in for work. When someone from the farm went to their address at I think Swallow Close early in the morning they got no response and on looking through the letter box saw someone on their knees slumped on the settee face down.

Monica was a night worker at Godalming sorting office so not at home and the police were contacted. As I remember the first CID officer on the scene was Ted King followed by myself and Alan Radlett at Ted's request.

The victim was lying in such a way that you could not see his hands or face although most of the back of his head and contents were dispersed over the wall and ceiling. We thought that once all forensics had been done by Scenes of Crime Officers and the pathologist that when we moved the body we would find it was a suicide with a gun in the mouth such were the injuries to the back of the head. Alas no gun so a murder enquiry was started.

While all this was going on at the house Monica had returned from her night shift at the sorting office and was being looked after by neighbours, as far as she was concerned all was well when she left for work the previous evening. An incident room was set up at Guildford and John Hurst was SIO. Leslie and I were given an action to interview and take a statement from Monica.

As a result of this and other ongoing enquiries we arrested her on suspicion of conspiracy to murder her husband and brought her to Guildford where she was interviewed by us and subsequently charged with the murder.

Monica and her husband were well known in the bowls world, she according to her story had been physically and sexually abused as a child by father and brothers and eventually moved away to start a new life. She told us she had met the deceased and eventually married him and was very happy, because of her earlier abuse she found intercourse painful and had in effect given her husband a green card to have sex elsewhere providing it didn't affect their relationship.

Unfortunately her husband got involved with someone else and had asked Monica for a divorce. The enquiries showed that from this point Monica had attempted suicide on two occasions and had approached different people at work that she was willing to pay someone to have her husband done over and that she would like to be present to kick him in the balls.

It was believed that the murder weapon was a hammer although none was ever found despite extensive searches and the victim had been hit between the legs with the same weapon that was used on his head and face. On the night of the murder Monica had returned home after visiting a fairground worker she had befriended at the RSCH. It is believed that her husband was sitting asleep on the settee with his feet on a stool when she arrived. He was smashed in the face and then followed by numerous blows to the back of the skull and finally blows up between his legs.

She made some attempt to clean up, had a shower and changed clothes for her night shift, she then went around to the neighbours and had a coffee before going to her night shift. She had told the neighbours that when she had come back from the hospital her husband was along with some male who was still there when she left for work, this is a story that she maintained throughout.

Enquiries established that her timing was incorrect as to when she left the hospital and got home that evening and forensic evidence i.e. blood found in the shower and also blood spray on a sleeve and back of a jumper she was wearing on her visit to the hospital that evening was consistent with someone wielding the murder weapon.

She had pleaded not guilty to the murder and following her trial at the Central Criminal Court the jury returned a verdict of not guilty to murder but guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of provocation i.e. her husband's infidelity. She was sentenced to 3 years imprisonment.

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