A British man bludgeoned his wife to death after she called him “limp and useless” over his erectile dysfunction during a row about DIY, a court has heard.
David Pomphret, 51, tearfully told his murder trial “I killed the woman I love” after his “volatile” wife Ann Marie made the comments. He struck her 30 times over the head with a crowbar at the stables where they kept horses, Liverpool Crown Court heard.
The couple, who had been married for 22 years, had gone to collect tools to fix the shower at their home but Pomphret claims his wife began “ranting” at him. Pomphret, a computer expert at Barclays, told the court how he “snapped” while holding the crowbar before attacking her.
Described as a “quiet man”, Pomphret suffered abuse from his wife, who struggled with depression. She was also being treated for cancer and had been diagnosed with an autistic personality disorder, the jury heard.
Pomphret, who is from the village of Winwick in Cheshire, admits manslaughter but denies murder on the grounds of a temporary loss of control. Yesterday, he gave evidence from the witness box on the sixth day of his trial.
His defence lawyer, Richard Pratt QC, asked him: “You accept, on the second of November last year, you battered your wife to death. How do you feel?” Pomphret replied: “Er, terrible. I killed the woman I love. A horrible thing to do.”
The court heard how Mrs Pomphret’s physical and mental health deteriorated over the course of their marriage. Pomphret said his wife could go from being happy to depressed “in minutes” and become “very angry, very quickly”.
He said he and their 18-year-old daughter Megan would remove themselves from situations with his wife to “let her rant”. On 2 November last year, the couple went shopping at Asda and then to the stables near their home to check on their horses.
Pomphret told his wife that he needed to pick up tools to fix the shower, to which she shouted he was “f****** crazy” and “just going to create more s***”, before criticising their daughter.
He told the court: “She called Meg a fat slag. Didn’t like the clothes she was wearing. Too short, too revealing.
“That I was a crap parent, encouraging Meg to go out on Saturday night, the only reason Meg was going out was for sex.” He continued: “She ranted at me for being a bad parent, calling me f****** useless. Called me limp and useless. Bit embarrassing, we have been having, I have been having, erectile dysfunction. I was not performing very well.
“Marie was at this point raging, absolutely raging, finger pointing, screaming. She then slapped me across the face.” Mr Pratt then asked: “Then what happened?” Pomphret replied: “Er, I remember reaching out, grabbing her hood and… I don’t remember.”
Mr Pratt said: “What’s the next thing you remember?” Pomphret said: “I was standing at the side of her body. “There was blood on my hands and the crowbar. She was on the floor.” Following the attack, Pomphret panicked and “stupidly” decided to try to cover his tracks, burning his bloodied clothes and throwing the crowbar in a pond before returning home. The trial continues.