NEWPORT MURDER TRIAL: Accused ‘was abusive and dominant’ - court hears

SHOT DEAD: Caroline Parry

SHOT DEAD: Caroline Parry

First published in News
Last updated

A MAN standing trial charged with the murder of his estranged wife told police “it was my illness, not me” when asked if he was responsible for killing her in a Newport street, a court heard.

Christopher Parry, 50, shot Caroline Parry twice in the back on Seabreeze Avenue on the morning of August 8 last year, before shooting himself in the face.

He has pleaded guilty to manslaughter, but denies murder.

In police interviews, read at Newport Crown Court, Parry said he had “been suffering from clinical depression, sleep deprivation, and had not been happy for five months.”

Mrs Parry left him in spring 2013 and had been living with another man, Gary Bidmead, in Liberty Grove, Newport.

In a police interview, Parry said he decided at 3am that morning to kill himself in front of his wife.

He told officers he knew where to go because he had followed her after they split up.

“I loved Caroline. She was the most important thing in my life,” said Parry, who asked officers not to keep mentioning Mr Bidmead’s name.

He described putting a shotgun and a belt of cartridges into the boot of his car at around 7.45am on August 8, and driving to Seabreeze Avenue where he loaded the weapon and waited as he knew his wife must pass that way to get to work.

He said it was still his intention to tell her he loved her and shoot himself. Asked why he loaded three cartridges, he said it was a three-shot gun and that was what he always did.

Mrs Parry saw him and pulled over, and Parry told police he said “I just want to have a couple of words with you.”

“She says ‘hiya, what are you doing here Chris?’” I said ‘I want to show you something.’”

He told her he loved her, but could not remember anything else of the incident.

When asked by an officer how Caroline had sustained her injuries, Parry said “I don’t know, I don’t know.”

Parry has been described by prosecuting counsel Michael Mather-Lees as a “controlling, possibly dominant individual who could not tolerate the fact his wife had left him after years of unhappiness.”

Zhahida Ahmed, of Newport, said she had known Mrs Parry since they were children and described them as being “like sisters.”

They went shopping regularly and for nights out, and Mrs Parry told Mrs Ahmed she was not happy because Parry had been abusive and controlling in recent years.

“She wanted freedom. She was fed up with being harassed and controlled by him,” said Mrs Ahmed, who added that Parry would regularly phone or text his wife when they were out, and Mrs Parry had told her he did it when she was leaving work.

Mrs Ahmed told the court she was aware Mrs Parry had met a man in 2012, and they were in a relationship.

In July last year, Mrs Parry and Mrs Ahmed argued. Mrs Ahmed said Parry had “turned Caroline against me” by telling his wife Mrs Ahmed was not a true friend.

The argument stemmed from that and Parry urged Mrs Ahmed to tell the police that Mrs Parry had been violent toward her.

Cross-examined by defence counsel Richard Thomas, Mrs Ahmed said Mrs Parry occasionally went off with other men during nights out and she had covered for her.

She agreed with Mr Thomas’s assertion that Mrs Parry had done this for years, her husband had no idea what was going on, and had not known about her relationship with Mr Bidmead.

Mrs Ahmed also told Parry when he asked her, that she did not know if his wife had been seeing other men.

She agreed with Mr Thomas that Parry was “obsessed” with his wife and with getting her back.

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