Ernest Davenport was on Friday, November 6, sentenced to six years in prison for manslaughter by Liverpool Crown Court. The 65-year-old reportedly flew into rage after Susan, 63, claimed son Mark was not his, stabbing her twice in the chest. He then rang 999 and told an operator said: ”I think I’ve killed my wife.”
Liverpool Crown Court heard hhow the couple’s other son Michael stumbled upon the gruesome scene after turning up for his regular weekly visit to see his father in Bury, Greater Manchester. As he tended to his mother, Davenport told him:
”We had a barney.”
The victim suffered two stab wounds to her chest, one which had severed two major arteries and was pronounced dead at the scene.
The couple, who were married for more than 40 years and had three children, were described as “hard working, law abiding people”. But Mrs Davenport left her husband in 2011 and set home with another man in Chorley, Lancs.
The tragedy occurred on April 14, after Mrs Davenport arrived at the property to get her husband to sign papers relating to the sale of the house and they began arguing about money. A short time later, her ex husband made the 999 call saying:
“I have had a fight with my wife and I think I’ve killed her.”
The operator replied:
“How have you done this?”, to which Davenport responded:
“We, we had a barney and started arguing and it’s come to a… you know.”
Prosecuting, Alaric Bassano QC said:
“In this telephone call, the defendant declared that he had had an argument with his ex-wife at his house, that he had used a ‘long knife’ against her, that she was on the settee in the living room and he believed she was dead.”
“He explained that the knife was now in the kitchen of his house and that he himself was also injured. The defendant was downstairs at his property when he was talking during this call but he abandoned the call just as his son Michael Davenport was arriving at the house. Michael attended his father’s house every Tuesday after work and on the day in question had let himself into the property, with his father upstairs at the time. He suffered the harrowing experience of finding his motionless and fatally injured mother on the settee in the living room. He picked up the telephone and was surprised to hear the police operator on the line. During the 999 call Michael Davenport can be heard asking his father what has happened. The defendant can be heard replying ‘we had a barney’
In court Davenport claimed his ex-wife had repeatedly taunted him saying her new partner was “a lot better man than you”. She also told him:
“You aren’t half the man you think you are” and when he asked what she meant, he claimed she said that their son, Mark, now aged 38, was not his son.
“I was in a rage. We were arguing and shouting. I was just in shock and I didn’t know what to do. I was backing towards the kitchen, she was still coming towards me, arguing with me. I wanted her to keep quiet.”
“I just turned and got a knife out of the drawer. I was going to stop her arguing. I was going to stab her with the knife.”
He said she did not seem to think he would do anything with it and was “putting him down all the time”.
“I felt bad, ridiculed over everything that had gone on. We went towards the settee and I tripped and fell forwards and the knife fell into her chest. I was right on top of her. She grabbed hold of my left hand and i was saying, ‘shut up, shut up’. She screamed and sighed, a deep breath, I got up in shock. I felt terrible when I realised what I had done, I just wanted to end it all.”
The court heard Davenport took an overdose of tablets and stabbed himself before dialling 999. Senior Investigating Officer Bob Tonge said after the case:
“This was a senseless crime which has devastated a family. They have had to deal with the shock and sadness of losing their mother and have then had to endure the trial and sentencing of their father. They now have to pick up the pieces and move on with their lives.”
Source: Irish Mirror