Murder accused 'wailed' after death
A PUB boss accused of ordering his wife's murder “wailed uncontrollably” when told of her killing, the Old Bailey heard yesterday .James Garside, 54, was so distraught at learning his wife Marilyn had been stabbed to death that her daughter had to pour him a stiff drink.
A PUB boss accused of ordering his wife's murder “wailed uncontrollably” when told of her killing, the Old Bailey heard yesterday .
James Garside, 54, was so distraught at learning his wife Marilyn had been stabbed to death that her daughter had to pour him a stiff drink.
Lisa Elsworth 31, told the Old Bailey she comforted the accused killer before he collapsed on the floor.
He later admitted having an affair behind her mother's back and blamed the killing on his lover's spurned husband, jurors heard.
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Wealthy Mrs Garside, 54, - who used to run a Suffolk pub with her husband - was attacked on the doorstep of her mother's home in Romford in October 2001 after answering a knock at the door.
It is alleged Garside, her husband of four years, paid friend Richard Bates, 51, to kill her so he could pocket her fortune.
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Mrs Elsworth, her daughter from a previous marriage, told jurors she was at the couple's home in Thatchers Grove, Marksgate, Chadwell Heath, when police officers arrived.
She said Garside answered the door and was informed his wife had died.
“I heard like a wailing, he was uncontrollable. I heard him say something like: 'Oh no, it can't be'.
“I went into the hallway to give him a glass of brandy and to comfort him. I just wanted to see how he was.
“He wouldn't look at me, he veered away. He took the drink.”
Mrs Elsworth said Garside then walked into the living room where relatives sat, including his wife's mother who had earlier cradled her dying daughter.
The witness said: “He threw himself on the floor in front of my nan and put his head in her lap.
“He was mumbling but I couldn't hear what he was saying. I didn't see any tears.”
The court has heard that Garside had a string of lovers and often spoke about plans to have his wife killed so he could pocket her personal fortune.
She had recently sold the pub they had ran together - the Cross Keys at Redgrave - for around £250,000.
The day after the murder Garside admitted to Mrs Elsworth he had not been faithful.
She told the court: “He said to me that he had been having an affair with a girl.
“It was the girl's husband who had done this because they couldn't get to him so they got to my mum.”
The jury has also heard how Garside punched his wife in the head and threatened to shoot her family in a Boxing Day row.
Mrs Elsworth recalled the violent episode, which happened while the family were staying at the Cross Keys pub for Christmas in 1997.
She said: “He wasn't very happy. There had been an argument with him and my mum and the row continued for a few days.
“My mum was really upset and wanted to leave. She had had enough.
“As she was bending down to pick up some belongings Jim hit her over the head with his fist.
“We tried to pull Jim off my mum and he pushed me off. I fell back against the bar.
“Jim just suddenly went mad. He said that if we didn't get out of the pub in the next five minutes he would fetch his shotgun and shoot everyone including the dogs.”
Mrs Elsworth said they gathered their belongings before fleeing the pub.
After living apart for a few weeks her mother moved back into the Cross Keys with Garside, she said.
Gardside, of Ullswater Avenue, South Wootton, and Bates, of Castle Acre Road, Great Massingham, King's Lynn, Norfolk, both deny murder.
The trial continues.