A SOBBING restaurant worker had to be restrained as he launched a knife attack on his ex-girlfriend telling stunned staff: ‘I’m trying to kill her,’ jurors were told.
Trainee teacher Louise Brindley, 21, had been working as an elf at Santa’s Grotto on the floor above Wimpy at Hayling Island’s Funland funfair last November when she asked university student Harry Middleton to look after her car keys.
But Portsmouth Crown Court heard when she went to retrieve them the 21-year-old broke down in tears in the restaurant’s kitchen, they went to a store room for privacy and as he handed back the keys he pulled a knife from his back pocket saying ‘I’m sorry’ and attacked.
Jurors heard Middleton, of Chidham Close, Havant, lunged at Miss Brindley as he gripped her hand while giving back the keys.
She had asked him to look after the keys because she could not keep them in her elf costume for fear they would have ‘ruined the magic for the children’ had they fallen out.
The pair, who had been together for two months when Miss Brindley ended the relationship, both fell to the floor with Middleton’s co-workers detaining him in the small store room as Miss Brindley fled and wept in another room.
Simon Jones, prosecuting, said Middleton stayed on the floor in a ‘foetal’ position as police were called on November 24 at around 3.30pm.
Miss Brindley suffered three 3cm cuts to her right thigh, a 0.5cm cut over her left breastbone, a nick to her left thumb and a cut to her left hand wedding ring finger. Her wounds were superficial, Mr Jones said, and she was discharged from hospital with antibiotics.
The court heard she had asked Middleton what was wrong when in the kitchen and he said 'just life, just life' and they had hugged before they went to the store room.
Speaking to police in a video recorded by police and played to jurors, Miss Brindley said: ‘He handed me the car keys, he kind of cupped my hand at the same time.
‘As he kept my hand, he said “I’m sorry” and that’s when he pulled the knife from behind him.’
She added: ‘He went towards my chest, I said “no Harry stop, what are you doing?”.
‘He carried on, I kind of pushed away, turned away, and screamed.’
She said she did not know she had been stabbed until about a minute later.
‘I kind of realised I’d been stabbed as I was walking out and looked down and my shoes were covered in blood and jeans were dripping, my hands were bright red,’ she said.
Jurors heard after the pair broke up prior to the attack Middleton had sent floods of messages to Miss Brindley saying he ‘wanted to kill himself’ and she was the ‘best thing that ever happened to him’. They had got together in June or July, the court heard.
Opening the case prosecutor Mr Jones told of the moment Middleton’s co-worker heard Miss Brindley’s scream and came to detain him.
He said: ‘As she continued to detain the defendant, during this she was to say to him specifically, “Harry, what have you done?” to which the defendant replied: “I’m trying to kill her”.
‘Ladies and gentleman, that was an unguarded comment he made and he made it at the time of the attack of the attack: “I’m trying to kill her”.
‘He was trying to kill her – the person who had rejected him.’
Middleton denies attempted murder and an alternative charge of wounding with intent. The trial is expected to last four days.