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Man 'Stabbed to Death for Refusing to Help Tidy Up'

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8:16am 2nd November 2012
(Updated 8:16am 2nd November 2012)

A court has heard claims a Cornish mum stabbed her husband to death with a pair of scissors because he would not help tidy the house.

Sandra Clinch from Darite near Liskeard denies murdering her fourth husband, forty-eight year old Alan.

Prosecutor Paul Dunkels QC told the jury at Truro Crown Court that they will hear from the forty-nine year old's own family how readily she would lose her temper and attack them, sometimes using weapons and sometimes throwing sharp objects at or around them.

Clinch, the mother of three sons and two daughters, has pleaded not guilty to the murder of her 48-year-old husband in their home at Caradon Heights, Darite, near Liskeard, on May 13th.

Just as in her previous relationships she and her husband argued regularly, said Mr Dunkels. "She was described as being more aggressive and dominant  and when neighbours heard her shouting he rarely responded.

"At about 10.30am on May 13 Clinch made a 999 call to the ambulance service. She was hysterical, saying 'I think I have just killed my husband. I threw a pair of scissors at him and he got them in the chest and it is pouring blood.  Save him, save him, I think I have killed him.'"

Mr Clinch was flown by air ambulance to Derriford Hospital but medical experts could not resucitate him.

Mr Dunkels said that Clinch told a police officer: "We were having a blazing row and I threw the scissors at him but didn't realise how sharp they were. Please help him, I love him very much".

A Home Office pathologist was of the opinion that it was very unlikely that the throwing of the scissors would have likely to pierce a sweat shirt and and T shirt and penetrate the chest to a depth of 12 cm. Much more force would be required.

Tearful Sandra Clinch began her evidence at Truro Crown Court on Thursday 1st November.

Answering her counsel, Andrew Langdon QC, she declared that she had not deliberately stabbed her husband, Alan and had not intended or wanted to cause him really serious harm.

"I threw the scissors but I did not throw them at him" she said.

"I don't remember whether they left my hand. Alan was about a foot away and he stumbled backwards with both hands on his chest. He said "call the ambulance", nothing more.

"I put my arms around him; I was facing him, and sat him on the stairs."

Clinch referred to her teenage years in care and violence in her relationships with her four husbands and other partners.

"I agree there were occasions I had slapped, kicked or punched the children but I did not throw things deliberately at them.

"I accept I had a problem and I tried to do something about it," she said. 

"I did go to the doctors a few times but didn't get anywhere with them. I discussed pre-menstrual tension with them; I do believe there was some link between that and my behaviour."

The trial continues.

8:16am 2nd November 2012

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