Husband stabbed through the heart 'had been urged to get away'


Colleagues of a solicitor who was killed by his new wife after she knifed him through the heart said they had warned him to "get away", a court has heard.

Criminal defence lawyer David Edwards, 51, died after he was stabbed with a kitchen knife by new bride Sharon Edwards, 42, after returning from Majorca, Manchester Crown Court was told.

A jury of eight women and four men were told that "domineering" and "possessive" Edwards had beaten her husband throughout the course of their brief relationship.

Within two months of the couple marrying in Las Vegas in June 2015, Mr Edwards was dead.

Edwards, who "perhaps quite liked the idea of being Mrs Edwards, a solicitor's wife", would finish a bottle of wine before her husband went to work and would get taxis to the supermarket to buy more, the court heard.

But Mr Edwards being made redundant and the likely future effect on his income or status "may well have been relevant to Sharon Edwards' increasing resentment towards him" the jury was told.

Mr Edwards had been an instructing solicitor for barrister Joanne Shepherd, whose statement was read to the court.

In it, she said: "He described her (Edwards) as a complete nightmare and she was bleeding him dry, spending all his money."

The court was told that he would often turn up to work battered and bruised after coffee tables and ashtrays were launched at him - but Mr Edwards had refused to report Edwards to the police.

Edwards denies murdering him on August 23 2015 at their home in Chorley, Lancashire, following a night of drinking in which she allegedly stabbed him for the first time - before he sustained a further, fatal, injury the next day.

Another former colleague, Christopher Hall, said he had many conversations with Mr Edwards about the blonde defendant, having noticed his black eyes, burst lips and claw marks, which he would pass off as "accidents".

Mr Hall told the court: "I asked him many times; he 'fell down the stairs'. He walked into a door on at least two occasions. One occasion, a garage door had come up and hit him.

"He once confided in me that Sharon had assaulted him. I think it was her elder daughter who had called the police."

Mr Hall said that Sharon was arrested, David had refused to make a statement, and Sharon had given a "no comment" interview.

He said: "David's words were, as a defence support, he 'knew the system'. He said that if he refused to make a complaint and Sharon refused to answer any questions to police, no action could be taken by police."

Mr Hall added: "I told him to just get away and get to his parents, just by himself, and to think things through. He half listened but half didn't. He said that she wouldn't let him."

Mr Edwards' neighbour of seven years Kathleen Hurst said that when Edwards moved in she noticed the rowing between them.

Prosecutor Anne Whyte QC asked: "What, if anything, changed after Sharon moved in?"

Ms Hurst replied: "The atmosphere changed, it became argumentative. It is a quiet close where we live and we don't have much noise, but in the night time we could hear arguing going on from the house."

Ms Whyte asked: "What could you predominantly hear?"

The witness replied: "A lot of shouting, female, I never heard David's voice raised. I never heard David raise his voice in all the time that I knew him."

Another neighbour said that while Mr Edwards became more dishevelled, Edwards' appearance "never changed - she was always made up and her hair done".

Edwards was to tell police they had rowed on the morning of his death, claiming he had taken a knife from the kitchen before she took it off him and he had walked towards her.

She told police that he had "begged" her not to call for an ambulance and she was to later find her husband dead in bed.

Mr Edwards' former partner Debra Livesley gave evidence.

She told the court: "He (David) said 'my life is hell down there, I'm living in hell'. I said 'you need to get out of the relationship, kick her out or leave her'. He said 'trust me I can't'. I said, 'if you don't she is going to end up killing you'."

She earlier told the court that she believed Mr Edwards had a drink problem and would fall over when drunk.

During cross examination by David Fish QC he asked Mrs Livesley: "Are you exaggerating your evidence because of your dislike for her (defendant)?"

Mrs Livesley replied: "No definitely not."

Mr Fish asked: "Were you jealous of Sharon Edwards?" She answered: "No."

Mr Fish said: "There were a number of abusive telephone calls between the two of you were there not?"

Mrs Livesey replied: "Yes there was."

The trial continues.