51-year-old David Pomphret, associate vice-president at Barclays Bank of England, appeared in court yesterday to stand trial for killing his wife with a crowbar in an apparent fit of rage after she insulted their daughter and called him “useless”.
He admitted to killing his wife, but maintains that it was not murder. He claims that his wife, Ann Marie Pomphret, was “prone to violent rages,” and “highly volatile”.
— New York Post (@nypost) October 1, 2019
Richard Pratt, the barrister defending Pomphret, said that his client suffered a “loss of self control,” and is arguing that the killing was manslaughter instead of murder.
He told Liverpool Crown Court:
“This is a case where a quiet man finally snapped. You may have little doubt in concluding this was a man who had completely lost his normal character and self control.”
The prosecution, however, isn’t buying it. They think that the defendant hit his wife with a crowbar more than 30 times intentionally.
Prosecutor Gordon Cole QC told the court:
“It may be loss of temper, but not loss of control.”
Part of the reasoning behind this thought is that the defendant tried to decrease suspicion on him by texting Ann Marie’s phone, asking where she was, after killing her. This was followed by calling police to report that he had just discovered his wife’s body at their home in Warrington, Cheshire, England.
That call reportedly went like this:
“My wife came to the stables a couple of hours ago and I’ve have not been able to get her on the phone so I have just come down to the stables and she is lying on the floor in a pool of blood.”
He also apparently asked the emergency services operator:
“Who would have done this? Who has done this to my wife?”
Cole referred to the call as a “complete pack of lies.”
The defendant refused to admit his guilt until after he was charged with his wife’s murder, as well. He maintained his innocence for months.
Cole also noted that when first responders did arrive, the defendant looked and acted as though he was about to become emotional and cry, but did not do so.
While defending his client, Pratt told the court his version of events.
He claims that the defendant became enraged after his wife insulted their 18-year-old daughter, calling her a “fat sl*g” and insinuating that she was going out that night “to get sex”.
The court was told that Ann Marie had a history of mental illness, and was being treated for cancer at the time of her death.
The reactions on social media were largely skeptical of Pomphret.
Pomphret’s trial was set to resume this morning and will continue until a verdict is reached.
One case of attempted uxoricide that captivated the world was the trial of Claus von Bulow who was convicted of trying to kill his wife Sunny.
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