Husband says ‘I just killed the wife’ after stabbing her 15 times in chilling call to cops

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This is the moment a 71-year-old man accused of murder rang 999 and told a call handler: “I just killed the wife.”

David Maggs made the call after stabbing wife Linda more than 15 times with a kitchen knife as she lay in bed at the couple’s home.

Throughout the call Maggs, who is on trial for murder, repeatedly asked for “police” and, when asked what had happened, said: “I stabbed her,” jurors heard.

The 74-year-old mother and grandmother died in the attack in her bedroom at around 9am on February 6 2021.

Retired accountant Maggs admitted to killing Mrs Maggs but denies murdering her at their home.

Maggs claimed to police when arrested that his wife had tried to steal two houses from him
Maggs claimed to police when arrested that his wife had tried to steal two houses from him

David Maggs from Pontypool, Wales pleaded guilty to manslaughter for reason of diminished responsibility saying he had “blanked out”.

The couple had been together for 28 years but Mrs Maggs had been in the process of divorcing her husband, Cardiff Crown Court was told.

They had been living separate lives under the same roof after their relationship ended in March 2020, the jury heard.

In the months leading up to his wife’s death Maggs became obsessed with the idea she was hiding money from him and would gain dishonestly from the divorce, prosecutors said.

He made threats to stab and kill his wife in front of a number of people including an estate agent and housing officer, according to Wales Live.

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Just after 9am on the day of his wife’s death Maggs took two kitchen knives upstairs to his wife’s room, leaving one outside her door, the court was told.

Linda Maggs had been in the process of trying to divorce her husband of 28 years
Linda Maggs had been in the process of trying to divorce her husband of 28 years

He told police he sat on the side of her bed where she was still lying under the blankets and told her he wanted to talk about the divorce.

When she told him to leave it for the solicitors he became angry. Maggs claims the next thing he remembers is after the attack.

He called for emergency services and was asked by the operator if he believed Mrs Maggs was alive or not and replied: “Passed away, I think.”

He then said: “I don’t, I don’t know, I just, I just lost it.” I added: “Just help me.”

Gwent Police officers entered the home and arrested a subdued Maggs, footage taken from their body-worn cameras showed.

In one clip two red knives were visible on the bottom step of the stairs.

Maggs told police officers at the scene: “I’ve just had enough. She tried to steal two houses from me, two houses.”

Later, in his police interview, Maggs said: “Thirty years I’ve been married to her and she doesn’t know how to keep her mouth shut so I topped her”.

An investigation into the financial aspects of their divorce found no impropriety on the part of Mrs Maggs but discovered the defendant had not declared a savings account that held £14,000, jurors heard.

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Sarah Jones QC, defending, argued her client’s depression would have impaired his judgement.

Psychiatrist Dr Nuwan Galappathie told the jury: “In my opinion the degree of his impairment due to depression is significant.

“This is a case where there are clear and significant mental health problems. In my opinion this is a case of diminished responsibility.”

The trial continues.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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