NEWPORT MURDER TRIAL: Court hears closing arguments
10:14am Friday 4th July 2014 in News
PROSECUTION and defence teams in the trial of Christopher Parry - charged with murdering his wife in a Newport street last summer - have summed up their cases.
Parry, 50, of Cwmbran, shot Caroline Parry twice in the back on Seabreeze Avenue on August 8 last year, then shot himself in an unsuccessful attempt to take his own life.
He has pleaded guilty to manslaughter, but denies murdering Mrs Parry.
Prosecuting counsel Michael Mathers-Lee QC told the jury at Newport Crown Court that when Parry shot his wife, he did so deliberately, and it was an act of murder.
“On consideration of the evidence as a whole, it is clear it has not been established on a balance of probabilities that the criteria for diminished responsibility has been met,” said Mr Mathers-Lee.
Psychiatrists Drs Stephen Hunter and Emma Clarke, who treated and assessed Parry in the months after the shooting, told the court they consider he was severely depressed and his mental illness had substantially impaired his responsibility.
But a third psychiatrist, Dr Philip Joseph, concluded Parry was not severely depressed, his illness before the shooting having been mild-to-moderate.
Defence counsel Roger Thomas QC argued that, rather than the “controlling, possibly dominant”
personality described by the prosecution, Parry was “a quite mild-mannered man who loved his wife” and for whom her leaving and the subsequent revelation that she was living with another man had plunged him into a “pit of despair.”
“We submit Mr Parry was and is suffering from severe depression and his illness substantially impaired his responsibility for his act,”
said Mr Thomas.
Dr Joseph concluded Parry’s previous bout of depression in 2001-03 had been more serious than that he suffered last year. But Mr Thomas said the defence believes the evidence of Drs Hunter and Clarke is more compelling.