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Wooburn Green murder accused takes the stand
7:30pm Monday 9th July 2012 in Crime
A WOOBURN Green man took the stand today to deny a charge of murder, telling a court he could not remember strangling his wife to death.
Gulf War veteran John McGrory said he “couldn’t believe it” as he stood over wife Marie, 39, and realised what he had done.
And he told crown court jurors today: “I deserve to go to prison”.
The 46-year-old denies murder, but admits manslaughter, the court has heard.
Opening the defence case today, Timothy Raggatt QC said the jury would have to consider whether McGrory was suffering from an ‘abnormality of mind’ which meant there was diminished responsibility for the act.
The jury will also consider whether there was a "loss of self-control" during the incident, and the reasons for this, he added.
McGrory and his wife had been arguing in the kitchen of their Holtspur Avenue home on January 3 this year, the morning after Marie returned from seeing another man in Scotland, Reading Crown Court has heard.
McGrory told jurors: “We got into this new boyfriend of hers. She says to me it was the case that you’ll go out, he’s coming in....As in she wasn’t moving out.”
The Glaswegian said Marie then threatened to make “false allegations” and discredit him, adding: “I just remember grabbing her by the throat with my left hand...
“For about 30 seconds it’s just a blank, then the next thing I remember is just standing over her.....I phoned the police straight away.”
“I just couldn’t believe it, just couldn’t believe what I’d done. I was absolutely gobsmacked...”
McGrory was taken to High Wycombe Police Station after being arrested, and told the court he was “relieved” to find out Marie was still alive later in the day.
However, a custody sergeant said McGrory had “rolled his eyes” on hearing this, and said “so she’s still alive”, the court heard. Marie was later pronounced dead at Wexham Park Hospital.
This afternoon the court heard evidence from Doctor Philip Hopley, a psychiatrist called by the defence, who believes McGrory was suffering from a depressive disorder of moderate severity at the time of the killing.
He said the condition can reduce someone’s ability to form rational judgements and withstand stress and pressure, believing this would have been a “very relevant and significant factor” in the attack.
The trial continues.