A man facing his third divorce has been found guilty of murdering his ex-wife.
David and Linda Maggs had been together for 28 years before their relationship broke up in 2020 and the couple slept in separate bedrooms.
According to prosecutors, about a month before divorce proceedings were finalized, David, 71, who had already been married twice, got up before his wife and walked into her bedroom brandishing two kitchen knives.
Jurors heard that Linda, 74, was stabbed a total of 15 times – suffering horrific injuries to her neck, chest, stomach and arms – before her ex-husband called 999 in saying “I just killed the woman”.
And when police arrived at the couple’s semi-detached home in Lansdowne, Sevastopol, the accused allegedly told an officer: ‘I’ve just had enough, she tried to rob me of two houses, two houses.’
He admitted manslaughter but denied murder on the grounds of diminished responsibility.
However, on the second day of their deliberations, the jurors found him guilty of murder.
During the case, jurors were told the couple had been together for 28 years but were in the process of divorcing.
Solicitor for the prosecutor Michael Jones QC said when opening the case: “In March 2020 the marriage had broken down but continued to live and sleep at the same address in different parts of the marital home in Pontypool.
“The defendant was also particularly agitated in relation to a possible financial settlement of the divorce. He thought he was going to lose a lot of money to his wife who he thought had hidden money. The accused became more and more focused on this and totally resented his wife because she was going through a divorce.
Jurors were told the couple first met in 1977, although they didn’t become an item until 1990. David and Linda, who had children from previous relationships, wed on 31 August 2002.
However, in 2020 prosecutors said the relationship was broken. In the summer of that year, neighbors overheard the couple arguing in their garden.
And in August that year, Linda told a friend she was looking forward to getting home from a day trip – saying she “didn’t know what he (David Maggs) was going to do then”.
The following month, the defendant installed locks on the living room and the other rooms he used. And Linda Maggs believed her mail was being taken by the defendant, so her mail was sent to her daughter-in-law instead.
A court heard a document Linda signed on September 16, 2020 cited the grounds for divorce as her husband’s “unreasonable behaviour.”
Jurors heard Pamela Hestor, a friend of both the defendant and Linda, contacted police on February 18 and told them about a conversation she had with Maggs a week or two before the death from Linda.
Ms Hestor said she spoke to the defendant on the phone and asked him about the divorce proceedings. She said he replied “I feel like I could stab her”.
She said she told Maggs not to talk like that, Linda would be dead and he would be in jail, and he should think about his family. She said he replied “I don’t care”.
Attorney for the prosecutor, Mr. Jones, said early on February 6, 2021 that Linda was in bed upstairs and the defendant “knew she was a late riser”.
He said: ‘The accused went into the kitchen and selected two large kitchen knives, went upstairs, entered her bedroom and, while she was sleeping in her bed, stabbed her in the died several times.
“The defendant stabbed her violently and repeatedly in the neck, chest, stomach and arms, the most important being the neck, chest and stomach.
“He left her dead, still lying in her bed before going down the stairs.”
The court heard a 999 call was made by David Maggs at 9.13am and told the operator “I just killed the woman”.
Ten minutes later he was arrested on suspicion of murder.
The court heard David Maggs stabbed his wife 15 times in the neck, chest, stomach and arms. The most significant blow was a chest wound described as a 15.5cm stab wound.
When PC Rebecca Cozens asked if he was okay, Crown said the defendant told the officer: ‘No, I’ve just had enough, I’ve had enough….. she tried to rob me of two houses, two houses. ”
And in a police interview, he said his ex-wife ‘can be a good bolshy, she can be a good madam’ and claimed he picked up the knives ‘to protect himself in case the things would get out of hand.”
Although he admitted to killing his wife, Maggs denied the murder on the grounds of diminished responsibility, instead admitting a charge of manslaughter.
During his trial at Cardiff Crown Court, his defense team detailed how Maggs was suffering from depression at the time of the attack.
And a defense witness said the defendant’s depression had “clouded his judgement”.
However, another psychiatrist, Dr. Tom Wynne, who also evaluated Maggs, disagreed with this judgement.
He said: ‘I wasn’t convinced he was suffering from a moderate depressive illness.
“Even if we have to accept that he suffered from a moderate depressive illness, which I question, it is rare for such an illness to lead to such impairment and impairment in problem-solving abilities. concluded in my view that there is no sanity defense available to Mr. Maggs.
The jury in the case was sent to complete their deliberations by Judge Michael Fitton QC on Monday morning, and it took them more than a day to reach a unanimous verdict. Back in court on Tuesday afternoon, a spokesperson for the jury confirmed that they had found Maggs guilty of murder.
Sending Maggs away from court and into custody after the verdict, Judge Fitton QC confirmed he would be convicted of murder at a later date.