ATTEMPTED MURDER: Husband, 45, jailed
Last updated at 09:36, Monday, 29 June 2009
A DAD who racked up massive debts and tried to kill his wife so she would never find out has been jailed for eight years.
Preston Crown Court heard yesterday how Catherine Gardner was sat innocently watching TV in the kitchen of their Baycliff home when her husband carried out the shock attack.
Gary Gardner came up behind her and hit his wife over the back of the head with a heavy metal pan.
She turned in shock to find out what was happening and her 45-year-old husband then smashed it into the side of her face.
Mrs Gardner, 37, slumped to the floor where he then tried to strangle her before lifting up a pan again and hitting her three times in the face, causing horrific, life-threatening injuries.
Neighbours raced to the health visitor’s rescue after the couple’s dogs started barking and they heard screaming coming from the Main Street house at about 10.15am on January 22 and probably saved her life.
Prosecutor Mr Arthur Gibson told the court how the couple, who had been married 12 years and had two children aged seven and five, had moved to Baycliff from Bolton to make a fresh start after financial problems.
The night before the attack the couple rowed and Gardner said he was leaving but the following morning he had changed his mind and their planned trip to the city was to go ahead.
Gardner had previously told his wife that their Bolton house had been sold and he had hired a van to head there and move some furniture so she had booked the day off work.
But the prosecution said it was all a pack of lies. The house hadn’t been sold and there was no van.
He wasn’t intending to go anywhere.
Mr Gibson said: “Mrs Gardner said that morning her husband wasn’t doing what she expected and was still in his scruffs despite the fact they were supposed to be going to Bolton. She mentioned this to him and he went to change. Seconds later she felt a blow to the back of her head.”
He said when the neighbours arrived Gardner answered the door and told them to call an ambulance stating “I have tried to kill her.”
The prosecutor added: “She was lying on the floor covered in blood and said to her neighbours ‘help me, help me. If you hadn’t come to the door he would have killed me.’”
Defence barrister Mr Christopher Stables said: “It came into his head seconds before he hit her.
“This was a pressure cooker type situation built up by the financial difficulties, the hiding of those difficulties and dealing with them on his own.
“This was an unthinking incident entirely disruptive of his own life. His relationship with his children will never be the same again.”
Gardner pleaded guilty to attempted murder on June 5.
Sentencing Gardner, his Honour Judge Anthony Russell QC Recorder of Preston said: “This is a very sad case. Your inability to cope with your financial problems made you unstable and you lost control.
“You may have succeeded in killing her if the neighbours hadn’t intervened.
“This was an unprovoked attack which left your wife seriously disfigured and with lasting psychological trauma.”
First published at 10:49, Saturday, 27 June 2009
Published by http://www.nwemail.co.uk