A HUSBAND murdered his wife during their bitter divorce because he thought “she would gain financially and dishonestly” from the break up, a jury was told.

David Maggs, 71, stabbed Linda Maggs, 74, repeatedly in her neck, chest, stomach while she was in bed at the home they shared in Pontypool.

Maggs has admitted killing her after pleading guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility but denies murder.

South Wales Argus:

Victim Linda Maggs

Cardiff Crown Court heard how the former couple had known each other since 1977 and had been together since 1988 before marrying in 2002.

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But, the jury heard, their relationship had deteriorated badly in recent years and they were living “separate lives” although still sharing the same house.

Michael Jones QC, prosecuting, said Maggs, who was going through his third divorce, murdered her a month before their separation was due to be finalised.

South Wales Argus:

David Maggs was going through his third divorce

Jurors were told the defendant stabbed her 15 times after taking two kitchen knives up to her upstairs bedroom while she was still in bed.

Mrs Maggs suffered injuries to her neck, chest, stomach and arms before he called 999 to say: “I have just killed the wife.”

His emergency call was played to the jury in which he told the operator: “I just lost it, can you please come out, just help me… Um, God help me.”

South Wales Argus:

Linda Maggs had retired after working at Burton’s Biscuits in Cwmbran

She tried to steal two houses off me

Here's what we know so far:

The alleged motive

The Crown claim the defendant was “agitated” about the potentially negative outcome of the split up and “resented” his soon to be ex-wife for divorcing him.

Mr Jones said: “On that day, an acrimonious divorce was coming to a conclusion, the financial aspect was still under investigation and the defendant, whether in anger or frustration or in both, knew exactly what he was doing and who he did it when he took those knives from the kitchen and stabbed his wife to death.

“He contemplated and threatened to do this on one or more occasion in the months and days leading up to her death and, on February 6, 2021, he made good that threat and murdered Linda Maggs.”

South Wales Argus:

Linda Maggs had filed for divorce

The prosecutor added: “The defendant believed he was going to significantly lose out financially compared to his wife who he was convinced had hidden money away.

“He thought she stood to gain financially as a result, certainly in his view unfairly and possibly dishonestly.”

The bitter divorce

The court was told the couple had lived together since 1990 and married 12 years later.

By March 2020 their marriage had completely broken down but they remained under the same roof in a house in Lansdowne in the Sebastopol area of Pontypool.

South Wales Argus:

The couple were still living in the same semi-detached house at Lansdowne in the Sebastopol area of Pontypool while their divorce was going through. Picture: Wales News Service

They were living in separate bedrooms but had done for some years because of Maggs’ snoring, the jury was told.

The former couple, it is said, hadn’t spoken for two months when the defendant went into her bedroom on the morning of Saturday, February 6, 2021.

She’s only 4ft 10in but she can be a right madam

Maggs, it is claimed, was “frequently difficult and verbally abusive – he would call Mrs Maggs thick and stupid”.

The house was in his name and he would threaten to sell it which would make her homeless, it is alleged.

The defendant would “dominate her”, the jury was told.

The court heard how Maggs put a lock on the living room door and wouldn’t let Mrs Maggs use it.

Maggs’ arrest and police interview

A recording of Maggs’ 999 call to emergency services and the bodycam footage of his arrest 10 minutes later by police was shown to the jury.

As he was being arrested, the defendant told officers: “Oh God, I have had enough… She tried to steal two houses off me, two houses for God’s sake.”

When he was asked by detectives later in interview why he had taken two knives upstairs with him to Mrs Maggs’ bedroom, he replied: “I’ve got a job to walk and I have to talk to the wife who can get right bolshy.

“She’s only 4ft 10in but she can be a right madam so I took it for protection in case things got out of hand but it went the other way.”