Woman ‘stabbed husband through the heart with scissors because he wouldn’t clean the house’

October 30, 2012 | by | 1 Comment

A woman stabbed her husband to death with a pair of scissors – because he wouldn’t help her clean the house, a court heard.

Mum-of-five Sandra Clinch, 49, killed spouse, 48, after a ”blazing row” which started when he refused to tidy up before some friends came over for lunch.

He told her to ”shut up” and she lashed out – stabbing him in the heart and lungs with a pair of red-handled dressmaking scissors.

Sandra Clinch and her dead husband Alan. She is accused of killing him with a pair of scissors

Sandra Clinch and her dead husband Alan. She is accused of killing him with a pair of scissors

Alan collapsed in a pool of blood and Sandra dialled 999 and told an operator she had thrown the brand new pair of scissors at him, a court heard.

Alan, her fourth husband, was airlifted to hospital but efforts to save him failed and his wife was arrested.

He died from a single wound to the chest by the blades which had been plunged 3 inches to 4 inches (10cm -12cm) into his body, between two ribs.

Experts say it is “extremely unlikely” that thrown blades would penetrate his clothing – a rugby shirt over a T-shirt – before embedding themselves deep into his chest.

Prosecutor Paul Dunkels QC told Truro Crown Court that weapons experts say the force used and depth of the wound meant the victim was stabbed.

He said: ”The blades of the scissors penetrated 10 to 12 centimetres into his chest, essentially up to the smooth pivot.

“The blade caused serious injury to his left lung and his heart. Having stabbed her husband she immediately called 999 and paramedics attended the scene.”

The court heard Sandra dialled 999 on May 13 following a row with her husband about cleaning up the house.

The attack happened two hours before their friends were due to arrive for Sunday lunch at their home in Cornwall.

The scissors, the court was told, were brand new and intended for use with the dress-making course on which Clinch had enrolled.

Sandra dialled 999 and told the operator: “I threw a pair of scissors at him and got him in his chest and he is pouring blood, it’s right by his heart.

“I did pull them out but I didn’t realise I’d got him, we were having an argument and I picked them up and threw them at him.”

When paramedics arrived she said: “Please help him, I love him so much.”

The court also heard how Clinch told a police officer: “I was trying to clear up the house. He (Mr Clinch) wouldn’t help me. I have got friends coming for dinner.”

Mr Dunkels said Clinch explained that she had asked her husband to tidy up and that he had simply told her to “shut up”.

He said: “At 10.30am on May 13, Sandra Clinch made a 999 call from her home. She was hysterical.

”She said: ‘I think I just killed my husband. I stabbed him. I threw a pair of scissors at him, he’s got them in his chest and he’s pouring blood.”

Clinch, previously married three times before, met her husband in 2001 in Luton, before they moved to their most recent home in Darite, near Liskeard in Cornwall, in 2006.

Mr Dunkels said the defendant has a history of violence against her husband.

He said: “She has always had a violent temper. During the course of this trial you will hear evidence from members of her family about how regularly the defendant would lose her temper and attack them, sometimes using household objects as weapons against them.

“Sometimes in a temper, the defendant would throw objects, sharp objects around and at members of her family.

“Sandra Clinch was married three times before Alan, and she has always had a temper.

“Members of her family say she would readily lose her temper and attack them. She would throw objects, sometimes sharp objects.”

He added that neighbours would often see and hear the couple arguing and that on one occasion a witness saw Clinch throw a jar at her husband.

Mr Clinch, believed to be a father of a teenage daughter, was well-known in Darite because of his passion for restoring old American cars.

Sandra’s nickname was ”The Hulk” because her mood would change violent and aggressive very quickly, the court heard.

Adrian’s son by a previous relationship, Jordan, 17, told the court she was like the famous comic book character because of her mood swings.

The court also heard her husband was a ”lovely man” who was ”wet” and she would berate him regularly and loudly.

Prosecutor Paul Dunkels QC said that “the only way” the scissors could have ended up so deep in Mr Clinch’s chest was if he was stabbed.

He said: “This was not an attack that was planned. It was caused by her in an argument and it was heat of the moment, there’s no doubt she regrets it.”

The jury watched footage from a police interview of how Clinch changed her story about how her husband was killed three times.

They saw her explain how she grabbed things on a table and threw them aside in an attempt, she said, to clear it.

On the tape, she is first seen making a throwing movement with her right hand over her left shoulder.

She then changed that to an overarm motion before finally demonstrating an underarm motion claiming that when she fatally threw the scissors, she “didn’t see” her husband.

Mr Dunkels said: “The only way the defendant could have got the scissors 10 to 12 centimetres into his chest was by stabbing him.”

Neighbours of Clinch, who still wears her wedding ring on her finger, told the court about her aggressive personality.

Next door neighbour Adrian Dennis said: “About once a week I would hear her having very one-sided, heated rows. Only one voice was heard, the voice of Sandra.”

He added that he closed his doors and windows due to the sound and language used.

Mr Dennis also described her as “aggressive and scary”, saying he ”wouldn’t like” to be on the receiving end of one of her arguments.

Giving tribute to Mr Clinch, neighbour Lisa Townsend said: “Alan was lovely, very helpful and hardworking, although I described him as wet.

“What I mean by that is that he didn’t stand up for himself.  But he was a man who was always happy to help.”

She went on to describe how, six months before his death, he looked as if he had the “weight of the world on his shoulders”.

The court heard that Clinch had joined her husband working at Homebase after the couple ran into financial problems.

Michael Radford, store manager of the Homebase, described a time when he saw Clinch attack her husband.

He said: “I returned from my lunch and and was looking out of the staffroom window.
I noticed their was a fight in the car.

“I saw what looked to me to be Sandra attacking Alan, beating and hitting him around the face.”

Clinch denies one charge of murder. The trial continues.

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Comments (1)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I wonder if she will get the same sentence as if he had done it to her?

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