'Jealous wife stabbed husband to death'

A JEALOUS wife stabbed her unfaithful husband to death after discovering his affair, a court heard yesterday .Rita Salmon, 55, allegedly poured scorn on her marriage vows shortly before the fatal attack, warning: "Death do us part, so death do us part it will be.

A JEALOUS wife stabbed her unfaithful husband to death after discovering his affair, a court heard yesterday .

Rita Salmon, 55, allegedly poured scorn on her marriage vows shortly before the fatal attack, warning: "Death do us part, so death do us part it will be."

The Colchester woman had had a largely "turbulent" 35-year marriage to Derek Salmon, who was the manager of the George Yard shopping centre in Braintree, the court heard.

It was claimed Salmon leapt to the attack almost as soon as he walked through the door on the day of the incident.

She first rammed a 10-inch bladed carving knife into his back before he had had a chance to defend himself, Inner London Crown Curt was told.

Then, as Derek Salmon staggered into the garden, more blows followed, John Caudle, prosecuting, alleged.

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Despite his injuries, he was able to return to the house where he collapsed.

"But even when her husband was lying prone and motionless on the ground, the defendant stood over him and continued to stab him in the back in a slow and deliberate fashion," counsel told the jury.

The barrister also maintained that even when an ambulance and police arrived, she tried to prevent him being helped.

"The defendant would not let the paramedics come in to tend her husband, saying she did not want him to be treated and she wanted him dead," said Mr Caudle.

Auburn-haired Salmon, of Shearing Walk, Colchester, denies murdering her 55-year-old husband on July 28 last year.

Mr Caudle told the court the couple's marriage had been far from happy. "It was unfortunately a turbulent marriage, during which they fought physically on a number of occasions."

Then, in March last year, things took a turn for the worse when Salmon discovered her husband was having an affair.

"This effectively ended the marriage, causing the defendant, understandably, great distress and anger to the extent that a few days after her husband left... this defendant attempted to take her life," said counsel.

Mr Caudle said another suicide bid followed, as did a visit to her love rival's home.

"She took a knife and slashed the tyres on her husband's car," Mr Caudle alleged.

"It was parked on the driveway of the home of the woman he was seeing, and she poured brake fluid on the bonnet."

Mr Caudle told the jury that on the day of the murder Salmon had invited her daughter and her daughter's fiancé, Mark Padmore, to a barbecue.

"They were late and she was annoyed," said the barrister.

"She took a stainless steel knife from the knife block in her kitchen and pressed the blade against herself, saying 'do you want me to kill myself'."

At one stage, claimed counsel, she hurled the knife across the kitchen in her daughter's direction.

"Tara and Mark then left the house in fear, taking the knife with them," said Mr Caudle.

After hiding it in an alleyway round the corner they returned to their own home some distance away in Victoria Gardens, Highwoods, Colchester.

Neither expected to see Salmon again that day. But at about 6pm, she turned up on their doorstep.

However, the couple were upstairs, so she let herself in through the patio doors.

"The defendant had brought with her one of her stainless steel knives from her kitchen," counsel alleged. "She was both angry and drunk."

A few minutes later, Salmon's daughter noticed one of her own kitchen knives was missing.

Said counsel: "When she asked her mother where it was, the defendant simply gave her what Tara describes as an evil look."

At that point, he claimed Salmon began shouting: "I want him dead."

Then, a short time later, the defendant was allegedly heard referring to her marriage vows, telling her daughter: "Til death do us part, so death do us part it will be."

The barrister told the court Salmon ordered her daughter to call her father and tell him to come round.

She then allegedly added: "If you don't do as I say, there'll be more than one murder here tonight."

Counsel said: "Tara was frightened and felt she was in an impossible situation but telephoned her father and asked him to come round. He agreed, saying he would be about an hour or so."

Mr Caudle told the jury that when the shopping centre manager arrived at about 8.30pm, he first stood in the hallway, leaning against the banisters, little suspecting his wife was in the kitchen and allegedly armed.

"At that point, the defendant came from the kitchen shouting and as Derek Salmon started to turn, the defendant raised her right hand to head height and struck downwards, thrusting the knife into his back," the barrister claimed.

He said that somehow the injured man managed to haul himself to his feet and stagger into the garden, his wife following and still holding the knife.

Mr Caudle said Tara thought her father would be able to escape and went with her fiancé to a neighbour to phone the police.

The court heard police arrived to find a blood-stained kitchen knife lying on the patio and the defendant, a smaller knife in her hand, by the side of her husband's motionless body.

Mr Caudle said PC Richard Barstow repeatedly asked the defendant to put the knife down so paramedics could tend to her husband.

"I don't want them to,' she allegedly said. "We've been married 35 years. He has been going behind my back and I stabbed him."

Later, however, she relented and on the way to a nearby police station was said to have told a woman police constable: "I killed someone, I killed someone, I am going to prison for a long time."

In interview, however, she denied planning to kill her husband and insisted she picked up the knife during an argument.

Mr Caudle said a pathologist found a total of nine wounds, many of which penetrated vital organs. One of them was 15cm (six inches) deep.

Later, the trial was dramatically halted after Salmon shouted from the dock while her daughter gave evidence.

Tara Salmon, 33, told the court her mother had made three suicide bids since her husband left her.

"On one occasion she said she wanted my dad to feel the way she was feeling, Ms Salmon said.

Suddenly her mother screamed: "But I didn't want him dead. Tara, I never wanted him dead."

She was then led to the cells sobbing loudly into a white hankie.

The trial was stopped for one hour and Mr Justice Bell told jurors to return on Monday.

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