A British bank executive beat his cancer-ridden wife to death with a crowbar, because he "snapped" when she berated their daughter, a New York Post article reported on Monday.
David Pomphret, 51, admitted to hitting wife Ann Marie Pomphret over the head more than 30 times with the tool at their home in Warrington, Cheshire, on Nov. 2, 2018, the Manchester Evening News reported.
The couple had gotten into a fight, when the 49-year-old wife began to “rant and rave” at her husband calling him “useless,” Pomphret’s defense lawyer, Richard Pratt, said in Liverpool Crown Court.
She then turned her attention to their 18-year-old daughter Megan — calling her a “fat slag,” a British insult for a promiscuous woman, and accusing her of going “out to get sex” that night, Pratt added.
According to the barrister, the husband also claimed that Ann Marie was “highly volatile” at times and “prone to violent rages.”
“This is a case where a quiet man finally snapped,” Pratt told the jury. “You may have little doubt in concluding this was a man who had completely lost his normal character and self-control.”
Pomphret suffered a “loss of self-control” consistent with manslaughter, Pratt argued.
But prosecutors allege that Pomphret, who is an associate vice-president at Barclays bank, intended to kill his wife.
“It may be loss of temper, but not loss of control,” said prosecutor Gordon Cole.
The report further added that Cole said Ann Marie had multiple defense wounds on both arms, showing she had tried to fend off the repeated blows from her husband.
After killing her, Pomphret sent text messages to his wife’s phone asking where she was in an effort to ward off suspicion.
Then he called the cops to report that he’d just found his dead wife and told them a “complete pack of lies,” Cole said.
According to a police handout published by local media websites: "On 2 November Mr Pomphret rang 999 claiming to have found his wife lying in a pool of blood at their stables after becoming worried she had been away from home for longer than expected. He told the call-handler: 'There is brain and blood everywhere, and it looks like she has had her head beaten in'."
“Who would have done this? Who has done this to my wife?” he allegedly asked the operator.
When first responders arrived, Pomphret appeared “confused” and it looked like he was going to “become emotional and cry, but then no tears did come,” Cole said.
The defendant was arrested the day after and initially denied any involvement. But Gordon Cole QC, prosecuting, told the jury he had given 'a totally lying account' of what had happened. He said: “We say this is not loss of control – it may be loss of temper – but not loss of control. That is one, perhaps the, main issue. We say this is a case of murder.”
The jury was also told that Ann Marie had suffered a number of mental health issues over the years and was on the autism spectrum. She had also been undergoing treatment for cancer.
The trial is set to continue on Tuesday.
Shocked social media users shared the news, while some said they could understand the husband’s actions others said cases of death by domestic violence in the country were getting out of hand.
A recent Guardian article said data from police forces in England and Wales revealed that 173 people were killed in domestic violence-related homicides last year, an increase of 32 on 2017.
Around three-quarters of people killed by a partner, ex-partner or family member were women, and suspects were predominantly male.
In the UK, the domestic violence helpline is 0808 2000 247. In Australia, the national family violence counselling service is on 1800 737 732. In the US, the domestic violence hotline is 1-800-799-SAFE (7233). Other international helplines can be found at www.befrienders.org