Harrogate woman murdered, court hears

A CITY of London lawyer murdered his wife at their home in Surrey after she threatened to leave him and take their three children back to live with her mum in Harrogate, a crown court was told this week.

Laura Davies Jones, 31, a social worker and former Granby High School pupil, was angry after she discovered her husband had been having an affair with a colleague, a jury heard on Monday.

Richard Davies Jones, 33, a former army captain from Ashtead, Surrey, knifed 31-year-old Laura, from Harrogate, in the throat during a furious confrontation, the court was told.

Police and paramedics rushed to the £500,000 detached house at 2pm on December, 1, 2010, and discovered the woman with “life threatening injuries” lying in a pool of blood outside in the snow, Guildford Crown Court heard.

“Paramedics did their best to try to save her but half an hour later, she was pronounced dead at the scene,” said Heather Norton, prosecuting. The cause of her death was a stab wound to the throat, it was revealed.

Her husband, a newly-qualified tax lawyer at the City firm of Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP), was also found with knife wounds after he had summoned the emergency services on his moblie phone, saying: “I’ve stabbed her.”

The injured defendant was rushed to hospital by ambulance, but he said at the scene: “I’m sorry Laura”.

He claimed he was acting in self-defence after his wife had flown at him with a knife plunging it into his neck. But Ms Norton said that claim did not match up to the pattern of injuries found on the couple.

Ms Norton said the defendant claimed he had grabbed a mobile phone to contact mother-in-law Celia Dakin. But, she said, the discovery of the dead woman’s blood on the mobile suggested it was Laura who had been trying to ring for help during the deadly struggle.

“We say that Mr Davies Jones, knowing that his wife was going to leave him, stabbed her in the throat, killing her,” she said.

Davies Jones denies murder.

The defendant and his wife had three children. Laura, whose full name was Laura Grace Emily Davies Jones and who had two children from a previous marriage, met the defendant while she was living in Harrogate and studying at university.

They were married on August 10, 2004. The court heard that police were frequently called to investigate allegations of assault by the defendant against his wife and vice versa.

Ms Norton said that when Laura went to stay with her mum in Harrogate, the defendant begged her to return home. On November 28, 2010, he drove north to bring his wife and children home in a heavy snowstorm and they were involved in a car crash on the way back.

“On December 1, Laura had planned to leave her husband,” Ms Norton said.

She told the court that the defendant had given differing versions of events to doctors and others who subsequently interviewed him.

On Tuesday, Laura’s grief-stricken mother told the court she bitterly regretted failing to take the defendant’s threats seriously enough. Mrs Dakin said: “That’s my legacy from all this. I only ever thought he would harm himself - not harm her.”

The trial continues.