London: A poet lured her husband into woodland for a drug-fuelled sex session and then slit his throat, a court was told on Wednesday.

Joanne Hale, 39, left him for dead so she could see a man she had met on the internet, a jury heard.

Hale gave her 43-year-old husband, Peter, a dose of a natural aphrodisiac before she blindfolded him and led him into local woods to act out her fantasy, it was alleged.

The couple kissed and "rolled about on the leaves" as part of a "playful game". Then Hale sat astride her husband as he lay face- down on the ground and slit his throat with a knife, before plunging it into his neck and chest several times, a jury was told.

Police arrested her when she returned home. She denies attempted murder and wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

Hale publishes her poetry on the internet and, according to her website, likes to write verse about "people, animals, love and everything that people care about". She worked part-time as a sales assistant for a DIY firm.

Chinese medicine

Bristol Crown Court heard how the bizarre events unfolded last Christmas. The couple, who married in February 2000, were watching television on December 27 when Joanne Hale suggested her husband take "horny goat weed". It is said to have been used in Chinese medicine for thousands of years.

Peter Hale told the jury that he and his wife discussed how to prepare the drug and that a mask used to relieve headaches was put over his face.

At 6pm they left their home and walked to Stoke Park.

"I think, probably, a migraine cap was put on my head," said Peter Hale. "It was just a kind of sexual game. I enjoyed the game but I lifted it up because I wanted to see."

He said he believed a sexual act was about to take place because it was his wife's fantasy which they had never acted out.

The court heard that after slashing and stabbing her husband, Joanne Hale was disturbed by a passing motorist. Timothy Walker spotted two figures in his headlights — "one on the ground, and one standing over". She is alleged to have fled the scene seconds later.

She is said to have then driven to Bristol Parkway railway-station where she had arranged to pick up postal worker Philip Sudol.

Joanne Hale allegedly told Sudol, whom she was meeting in person for the first time, that she was separated, but that her husband had injured himself and she would get the blame.

Peter Hale had "life-threatening injuries" and was taken to hospital, the court was told.

The trial continues.