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Wooburn murder trial: court hears 'surreal' 999 call
A ‘SURREAL’ phone call was today played to crown court jurors – in which murder-accused John McGrory apparently tells a 999 operator: “I’ve just killed my wife”.
According to the tape of the call, the operator told McGrory emergency services would be despatched immediately to which the 46-year-old replied: “Lovely...thank you”.
Reading Crown Court has heard the ex-army serviceman used a dog lead to strangle wife Marie McGrory, 39, at their home in Wooburn Green.
The couple had just spent Christmas together at home, but she then travelled to Scotland for New Year to continue an affair with another man, said prosecutor Charles Ward-Jackson.
McGrory had known about his wife’s affair for some time, he added, but the pair got into a “heated row” on January 3 this year – the morning after she returned home from Scotland.
The argument in the kitchen of their Holtspur Avenue home ended with McGrory strangling Marie with the dog lead, jurors heard.
Referring to a later interview with police, Mr Ward-Jackson said the defendant did not recall using a dog lead, but remembered “getting angry” and putting his hands round Marie’s throat, before she fell into a utility room.
It was then that McGrory, who then worked night shifts as a lorry driver, made the 999 call and confessed to the killing, said Mr Ward-Jackson.
Scots-born McGrory denies murder, though his lawyers have already indicated he admits manslaughter, jurors were told.
When police arrived on the scene about ten minutes later they thought it could be a false alarm, but the court heard McGrory calmly appeared through a side door wearing a T-shirt and boxer shorts and said: “Come in guys”.
Officers found Marie lying on her back, with Staffordshire Bull Terriers running around the house. They said Marie was cold, with no pulse and her eyes were open.
Though it went unnoticed at first, officers saw a dog lead was ‘deeply embedded’ in her throat. Though paramedics removed the cord, and Marie was partly revived and rushed to Wexham Park Hospital, she died early the next morning.
Mr Ward-Jackson said McGrory had been complaining of depression before the incident and had begun to seek help from health professionals.
He added: “The defence may submit he was suffering from depression and he was provoked and lost his self-control.”
But he said McGrory had no history of psychiatric problems, suggesting the killing was an act of “anger and a thirst for revenge”, rather than a “spontaneous event”.
McGrory’s work colleagues at 3663 – a food supply company with a depot in Wooburn Green – told the court he usually “kept himself to himself”, but had talked briefly of his wife’s affair.
Michael King, a manager at the firm, said McGrory had made a “flippant comment” about his marriage problems the night before the killing, saying he would “have the last laugh”.
The trial continues.