A husband who told his wife he had “a present for her” before plunging a kitchen knife through her body as she lay in bed was convicted of attempted murder today.

Within minutes of having sex, Shaun May placed a tea towel over Laura May’s eyes and invited her to guess what her present was.

He then slowly counted down from 10 before egging himself on by muttering “Come on Shaun”.

Mrs May, who still had her eyes closed, then felt knife plunge between her shoulder and beck.

What she at first thought was a clamping-like sensation caused by a puppy clawing at hr quickly became agony.

The knife was wielded with such force that the blade came back out of her back and the handle snapped off, Maidstone Crown Court in Kent, was told.

With the knife having been removed from her back, Mrs May managed to get out of bed to see her husband of 14 months standing with two knives in his hand threatening to stab himself.

When she asked why he had attacked her, he told her he had lost his job the previous day over financial irregularities and was worried about paying the mortgage.

May, 34, denied attempted murder but the jury found him unanimously guilty.

He had admitted the less serious, alternative charge of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm ahead of his trial

Prosecutor Robin Griffiths told the court at the start of May’s trial on Monday that it was “a matter of sheer good fortune rather than fine judgment” that May did not inflict a life-threatening injury to his wife.

Although no bone, organ or vital blood vessels were penetrated, the blade was close to both a carotid artery and jugular vein.

The court heard the couple had been together for six years at the time of the murder bid at their home in Station Road, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, on October 9 last year.

Mrs May told the court they enjoyed a good relationship and did not argue, other than “to bicker over the washing up”.

“We really loved each other,” she added

Just five days previous, they had returned from South Korea where they had attended the wedding of Mrs May’s brother.

She said the early morning knife attack was “totally unexpected and a complete shock”.

At one stage Mrs May had even asked her husband if she would like his gift and quizzed him as to what it might be.

Giving evidence for the prosecution, she told the court: “I said to him ‘This had better be a puppy’ because we had talked about having one but he said ‘It’s not a puppy’.

“Then it was just silent and I suddenly felt a pressure on my shoulder. I thought an animal had been thrown on me, something was clawing at me.

“I was screaming ‘I can’t get it off, I can’t get it off’. I must have reached up there at some point and realised there was nothing there, no animal.

“But there was something rectangular in there. I thought it was a clamp or some kind of Halloween prop because I could feel blood trickling down.

“I said ‘This isn’t real’ and he said ‘This is real’. He was calm.”

The court heard the couple had been to work the previous day and shared a takeaway pizza while watching TV that evening.

She woke about 5am the next day to her husband coming into the bedroom, saying he had heard a noise downstairs.

They then became intimate before May told his wife he had a present for her, to close her eyes and to roll onto her back.

He then placed a tea towel over her eyes but left it untied.

Mrs May told the jury she believed her husband was kneeling next to her as his voice was very close…Continue Reading

By Ian Dei

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