Wednesday, May 20, 2009

More on the woman whose rape lie caused an innocent man to be murdered

More on the our previous post about the woman whose rape lie caused her husband to beat an innocent man to death. Read on -- here's the crux of it: "She knew how [the husband] was likely to react. She was looking to deflect his anger from her to [the victim]." When [the husband] arrived, she could have left the property, thrown her arm round [him] and said: 'Now I'm safe'. Instead, she set [the victim] up for a beating and gave [the husband] access to the flat."

Wife ditched her husband on their wedding night... 'then called him the next morning to help beat her lover to death'

By Daily Mail ReporterLast updated at 12:08 PM on 20th May 2009

A newly-wed couple beat the wife's lover to death hours after their wedding, a court heard.

Wendy Shobrook and her husband Barry Johnson went on a drinking binge after their marriage on June 9 last year, a jury was told.

But Shobrook stormed off to lover George Auchterlonie's home after Johnson took time out from their pub crawl to pick up his giro.

The 40-year-old at first claimed the wedding had been a mistake and screwed up her marriage certificate, then had a change of heart and returned to her new husband's council flat.

The couple, from Plymouth, Devon, then had a row during which Shobrook set fire to Johnson's bed and screaming he should 'burn in hell'.

Plymouth Crown Court heard that as the blaze ravaged the property, Shobrook returned to Auchterlonie's flat and spent the night with him.

The following day Shobrook rang Johnson and claimed Mr Auchterlonie, 45, had tried to rob and rape her.

Martin Meeke QC, prosecuting, said the claims were false and she had set up Mr Auchterlonie for 'the beating which he got'.

He said: 'The night before she had set fire to the bed in which her new husband was lying.

'She had left him on their wedding night, gone to spend the night at the address of a man who he believed she was having an affair with.

'She knew how he was likely to react. She was looking to deflect his anger from her to George Auchterlonie.

"When he arrived, she could have left the property, thrown her arm round Barry Johnson and said: "Now I'm safe".

'Instead, she set George up for a beating and gave Johnson access to the flat.'

The court heard both a wooden oar and a tumbler glass were used to inflict 38 separate injuries including 14 to the head and neck.

Mr Auchterlonie was attacked at his home and is believed to have died some hours later. The body was not found for three days, until June 13.

Mr Meeke said: 'When they left George Auchterlonie he was still alive, left by these defendants to die in a pool of blood.'

He told the court Johnson later bragged to a number of friends that he had 'given George a beating' and 'taught him a lesson'.

The court was also told he boasted of having attacked Mr Auchterlonie for 15 minutes and had previously threatened to 'kill him'.

After the assault, the couple were filmed on CCTV in their bloodstained clothes buying beer at a local shop.

In a statement to police, Shobrook said she did not want Johnson to kill Mr Auchterlonie, and after hearing a glass smash and seeing Johnson hit his victim with an oar, she intervened, saying: 'No, that's enough.'

But Mr Meeke said Shobrook's account was completely inconsistent with the victim's injuries and the state of the flat, whose lounge and kitchen floors were covered in blood in an attack lasting 'tens of minutes'.

Johnson, 40, and Shobrook, of Plymouth, both deny murder.

Shobrook has pleaded guilty to arson being reckless as to whether the life of another would be endangered.

Mr Meeke said the prosecution believed that Shobrook not only created a situation for her husband to attack Mr Auchterlonie but was 'personally involved' in the murder.

The trial, at Plymouth Crown Court, continues.