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'I never meant to hurt him' says scissors death woman

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: November 02, 2012

Truro Court

A mother-of-five accused of stabbing her fourth husband to death with dress-making scissors in Cornwall told a court she had never intended to seriously injure the "kind, gentle" man.

Sandra Clinch, 49, denies murdering Alan Clinch, 48, at their home in Darite near Liskeard in Cornwall in May. Yesterday she said she did not mean to kill or injure him.

Clinch took to the witness box for the first time yesterday, on the fourth day of her trial.

Truro Crown Court had previously heard that Clinch – who has a history of violence against her former partners and children – became furious with her husband after he refused to help her tidy their home ahead of guests arriving for Sunday lunch.

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Paul Dunkels QC, prosecuting, told the court Clinch did not throw the scissors, but had stabbed her husband of nearly three years, as she lost her temper. And after Clinch showed the jury how she thought she had thrown the scissors on that fatal morning Mr Dunkels said: "You're searching for the acceptable demonstration of a throw.

"But as you didn't throw the scissors, you have no set picture in your head. That's why your demonstration [to police and in court] wobbles and varies so much. You settle, finally, for an underarm throw. Was that your preferred version of events?"

Clinch replied: "I'm just not 100% sure how I picked them [the scissors] up. It happened in a split second. I don't think they left my hands."

Earlier in the case yesterday, defence counsel Andrew Langdon QC asked her to recall the events of the morning of May 13.

Clinch said: "I picked them [the scissors] up and went to throw them." Mr Langdon asked: "Do you know whether they left your hand?" Clinch replied: "I don't know, no."

The jury had earlier heard excerpts from Clinch's interviews with police, as well as from phone calls to the ambulance operator and her friend. Upon phoning 999 for help, Clinch was said to have said she "stabbed" her husband, later saying to three people that she had thrown the scissors "at" him.

When it was suggested by police following Clinch's arrest that she had kept the scissors in her hand and plunged them into her husband's chest, Clinch said: "I didn't feel them go in anything. I never once had any intention of stabbing him." Police suggested Clinch "snapped" at her husband, but the defendant replied: "I didn't stab him. I never intended to hurt him."

The trial continues.

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