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Newlywed 'stabbed husband through the heart' after he lost job

Published 22/02/2016

Sharon Edwards is due for trial at Manchester Crown Court charged with stabbing to death husband David at their home in Chorley
Sharon Edwards is due for trial at Manchester Crown Court charged with stabbing to death husband David at their home in Chorley

A "violent" newlywed fatally stabbed her solicitor husband through the heart with a kitchen knife after he was told he had lost his job, a court has heard.

Sharon Edwards, 42, had only been married to criminal defence solicitor David Edwards, 51, for two months when she fatally attacked him, hours after they returned from a Spanish holiday to Majorca.

Mr Edwards was found dead in bed on August 23 2015, having sustained an 8cm long and 2cm wide knife stab wound to the chest in the second of two attacks at their home in Chorley, Lancashire, in as many days.

A jury sitting at Manchester Crown Court heard that Mr Edwards had been recorded saying his new wife could "knock him out with one punch" and that she hit "rather hard".

Edwards formally entered a plea of not guilty to murder when she was arraigned on the first day of her trial.

Dressed in a black blazer and white shirt, she was flanked by a female dock officer and required headphones to listen to proceedings.

Jurors were told that during their "turbulent" relationship, which had lasted little over a year, blonde Edwards was described as being "domineering", "possessive" and "very jealous".

She was said to have left her new husband with black eyes, bruises and scratches, jurors heard.

Following a swift romance, the couple had married in Las Vegas on June 28 2015.

Within two months Mr Edwards was dead.

Anne Whyte QC, for the prosecution, suggested that Edwards, "perhaps quite liked the idea of being Mrs Edwards, a solicitor's wife", but following confirmation that he was to be made redundant, arguments ensued.

Ms Whyte said Mr Edwards would appear at court looking dishevelled, and 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".

Ms Whyte added: "His loss of employment and the likely future effect on his income or status may well have been relevant to Sharon Edwards' increasing resentment towards him.

"It was clear the holiday had not been all plain sailing and there had been rows.

"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."

The court heard Mr Edwards, who had previously been a partner in a local firm, was said to have kept the domestic violence a secret, instead insisting that his injuries had been accidental and that he had fallen down the stairs.

But on one occasion, Mr Edwards disclosed to a former partner that Edwards had "picked up a glass coffee table and hit him over the head with it".

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".

On the evening before his death, Edwards' daughter had discovered 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.

Despite his injuries the couple were to go to the pub, but carried on arguing the following day.

After Mr Edwards was found dead, Edwards told police they had argued, and wedding photographs had been ripped up. She claimed he had taken a knife from the kitchen before she had taken it off him, and he had walked towards her.

Ms Whyte said Edwards told police: "I didn't know he had walked into it until I saw all the blood", and stated he had "begged" her not to call for an ambulance.

Ms Whyte added: "David Edwards has quite literally been stabbed in the heart. That we say could not have happened accidentally.

"Furthermore, his lifeless body revealed evidence of regular assaults in the form of other wounds caused by a sharp object and blunt trauma.

"On August 23 she went too far, and she knows she went too far. Twice in two successive days she used such a weapon in anger against a man whom she knew would never restrain her or physically fight back."

A Home Office pathologist found Mr Edwards also had a 1.5cm shallow wound from the previous day, and his body was said to have been "covered in bruises and abrasions as well as the other wounds and incisions".

Stab wounds were also present in the thigh, knee, finger and a shallow wound to his scalp.

The trial continues.

The trial heard from Mr Edwards' former partner, Rosina McCarthy, who told the court she had met the solicitor through her work at a local magistrates' court and the two had remained friends.

She said that she began to notice Mr Edwards with scratches to his face, black eyes and cuts to his head, "quite a lot" and said he had lost "a couple of stones".

She said Mr Edwards told her that: "Sharon had picked up a glass coffee table and hit him over the head with it. He had lost an awful lot of weight, his clothes were shabby, he just didn't seem to be himself."

Mrs McCarthy added that she had witnessed Mr Edwards in court with "part of his ear not attached and teeth marks" and his nostril damaged on another occasion.

She said that Edwards had posted a picture on Facebook ahead of her wedding in which she was wearing bridal wear, with the message: "'I'm coming to get you Mr Edwards', or something along the lines of."

She added: "Quite stupidly I made a comment. I thought she was ridiculing him."

She went on to tell the court that in a phone call to her, she had overheard Mr Edwards in the background say: "How can I tell her you don't hit me when I keep going round with black eyes and scratches."

Maureen Taylor, another ex-partner of Mr Edwards gave evidence.

Miss Whyte asked Miss Taylor: "Was Mr Edwards ever violent towards you?"

Miss Taylor, who had been in a relationship with him for between six and seven years, replied: "No, never."

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