A 90-year-old man who cares for his disabled wife admitted to a court that he stabbed her with a carving knife, but claimed he only did it “to calm her down”.
Giving evidence at the Old Bailey earlier today, Edward Turpin said that harming his wife would be “the last thing” he would ever want to do.
Turpin said: “What's the good of me causing my wife serious harm? I've got no-one – no brothers, no sisters, no aunts, no uncles. Without my wife, I'm finished”.
Joan Turpin, also 90, is blind and needs a catheter.
Paramedics found Mrs Turpin with a collapsed lung and at least four stab wounds when they arrived at the Turpins’ home in Orpington, London, on September 22 last year.
Turpin, a retired butcher, said he had stabbed her with the “smallest” knife he had in the house, which was a large carving knife.
While he initially told the court that he could not remember what had happened during the incident, reports the Daily Mail, he later recalled feeling unable to cope after a disturbed night in which his wife “aggressively” elbowed him in the back and told him she couldn’t sleep.
She then began uncontrollably screaming, Turpin testified, and he went downstairs to get a knife.
Alistair Richardson, prosecuting, asked him “you thought stabbing her was the right way to stop her screaming?”
“Yes sir," Turpin replied, adding “all I was trying to do was calm my wife down”.
Turpin said while they had what he described as “so-called” home care, he was responsible for the majority of the care, cooking, cleaning and emptying his wife’s catheter.
Prosecutors allege that Turpin “ran out of patience” caring for his wife.
But Turpin said: “I just love my wife and when you get married, for better or for worse, okay if it turns out it's a bit worse, I'll carry on.”
However, in an interview recorded on video in hospital, Mrs Turpin told investigators: ”He woke me up with the knife in my chest, telling me he couldn't take any more.
“It made him ill and then the knife went in. I was screaming for help.
Turpin was also injured in the incident, which he described to a 999 operator as a “suicide pact”.
He told the operator “we want to die”.
However, Mrs Turpin rejected that suggestion. However, she described her husband as a “lovely man” who had never before "laid one finger" on her.
The trial, which is expected to last two days, continues.
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