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Jilted Mum Denies Attempted Murder

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6:35pm 15th November 2012
(Updated 6:35pm 15th November 2012)

A mum from The Lizard has been cleared of trying to kill her ex-partner and best friend.

Karen Orchard was accused of running a car at the pair in the village in January.

The forty year old, of Parc an Ithan, The Lizard, told Truro Crown Court she was upset that they may be an item but did not mean to hurt them.

"I did not intend to kill them” she declared when questioned by prosecutor Llewellyn Sellick.  "I only wanted to speak to them."

Orchard agreed that she had driven dangerously when she deliberately knocked down a gate - "but it was only dangerous to myself" she said.  She was not aware that the gate had fallen onto Roseanna Vanhorn, who was dragged clear by Geoffrey "Joff" Richards as they ran from her.

Questioned by her counsel, Michael Melville-Shreeve, Orchard, a mother of two daughters, agreed she had been shocked, angry and upset when she saw the pair walking hand in hand.  

"All sorts of questions were running through my mind.  I assumed they were in a relationship and that made me very upset" she said.

Orchard admitted that she had poured paint onto Ms Vanhorn's car and pushed it towards a shop window. "It was a revenge act" she said.

She had bumped into a concrete bollard and reversed and smashed through a gate when the pair ran from her in the Regent Cafe car park but she had no intention of hurting them.

Mr Melville-Shreeve called two witnesses who spoke of Orchard being a "caring, loving, honest genuine person" who was a registered child minder, had set up a play group in the village and worked with teenagers in Outreach.

After less than an hour, the jury acquitted her of two counts of attempted murder, another two of intentionally trying to inflict GBH and one charge of dangerous driving.

She was convicted of a separate charge of dangerous driving and sentenced to six months in jail, but has already served her time.

Mr Justice Burnett commented: "I agree entirely with these verdicts even if it is not my place to express a view."

In respect of the one conviction of dangerous driving, the Judge said he bore in mind the enormous stresses and strains she had been under stemming from being prosecuted for the second most serious offence in the legal calendar.



6:35pm 15th November 2012

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