A hen-pecked husband tearfully told his murder trial ‘I killed the woman I love’ after she called him ‘limp and useless’ over his erectile dysfunction during a row about DIY.
David Pomphret, a technology expert with Barclays bank, bludgeoned his wife Ann Marie more than 30 times at the stables they owned near their home in Winwick, Warrington.
The couple, who shared their home with their 18-year-old daughter, had gone to pick up tools to fix the shower but the ‘volatile’ wife began ‘ranting’ at him, he claims.
Pomphret told the trial she ranted at him, called their daughter a ‘fat sl*g’, mocked his sexual performance and slapped him, which prompted him to snap and beat her to death with a crowbar.
David Pomphret (left) bludgeoned his wife Ann Marie (right) after he finally ‘snapped’ from all the abuse he suffered, Liverpool Crown Court heard
Described as a ‘quiet man’, Pomphret suffered physical and mental abuse from his wife, who struggled with depression, was having treatment for cancer and had been diagnosed with an autistic personality disorder, the jury heard.
Pomphret admits manslaughter but denies murder on the grounds of a temporary loss of control.
The jury heard on the evening of Friday November 2 last year, the couple went shopping at Asda and then to the stables near their home to check on their horses.
Pomphret told his wife while they were there that he needed to pick up tools to fix the shower but she shouted he was ‘f****** crazy’ and ‘just going to create more shit’, before ranting about their daughter Megan.
He said: ‘She called Meg a fat s**g. Didn’t like the clothes she was wearing. Too short, too revealing. That I was a crap parent, encouraging Meg to go out on Saturday night, the only reason Meg was going out was for sex.’
He continued: ‘She ranted at me for being a bad parent, calling me f****** useless. Called me limp and useless. Bit embarrassing – we have been having, I have been having, erectile dysfunction. I was not performing very well.
‘Marie was at this point raging, absolutely raging, finger pointing, screaming. She then slapped me across the face.’
Mr Pratt said: ‘Then what happened?’
Pomphret replied: ‘Er, I remember reaching out, grabbing her hood and… I don’t remember.’
On November 2, Pomphret rang 999 claiming to have found his wife lying in a pool of blood at the stables in Warrington, Cheshire
Mr Pratt asked: ‘What’s the next thing you remember?’
Pomphret said: ‘I was standing at the side of her body. There was blood on my hands and the crowbar. She was on the floor.’
The accused told the jury he had no recollection of attacking his wife with the crowbar.
Giving evidence from the witness box on the sixth day of his trial, Richard Pratt QC, defending, asked him: ‘You accept, on the second of November last year, you battered your wife to death. How do you feel?’
Pomphret said: ‘Er, terrible. I killed the woman I love. A horrible thing to do.’
He said he then panicked and ‘stupidly’ decided to try to cover his tracks, burning his bloodied clothes and throwing the crowbar in a pond before returning home.
The couple met on Mrs Pomphret’s 21st birthday and were ‘happily married’ with one daughter, Megan, 18, but, over the course of their 22-year marriage, his wife’s physical and mental health deteriorated, the jury heard.
Pomphret, a technology expert with Barclays, struck her head more than 30 times at the stables (pictured) they owned near the home they shared with their daughter Megan
Pomphret said his wife could go from being happy to depressed ‘in minutes’ and become ‘very angry, very quickly’.
The defendant said he and their daughter developed ‘coping mechanisms’, removing themselves, or his wife, from a situation and deciding to ‘let her rant.’
On Monday’s sitting, Carol Buckley, the victim’s mother, said in a statement read to the jury: ‘David was an angel. He deserved a medal for putting up with Marie.
‘I could not have wished for a better son-in-law or dad for Megan.’
Ms Buckley said her daughter married the defendant in 1997 and they shared an interest in horses, describing her daughter as the ‘driving force’ in the relationship.
She also said her daughter could easily ‘take the huff’, blocking her on Facebook over something she had said.
Kenneth Crane, Ms Buckley’s partner, said in a statement: ‘Marie, I would describe as a Jekyll and Hyde character.
‘She was like a volcano. She could erupt at any time without warning. I would describe David as a very quiet bloke. He would never talk or chat.’
The trial continues.