Prosecutors say Gary Travers, 42, had lured Dr Georgina Ingall into his Audi TT on the morning of Christmas Eve last year to shower her with Prosecco and flowers – before then planning to douse himself in petrol and set himself on fire in front of her.
But in a police interview read out during the fourth day of his trial at Portsmouth Crown Court, Travers told detectives things descended into chaos when he showed Dr Ingall a two-litre bottle full of fuel and told her to ‘smell it’.
In a transcript of the interview, read in court by prosecutor Martyn Booth and Detective Constable Solomon Koranteng, Travers said he had wanted to meet Dr Ingall at the White Hart pub for a ‘cup of tea’ and to discuss their relationship following a recent row.
But he told police that Waterlooville psychologist Dr Ingall insisted their relationship had broken down and could not be salvaged.
Having taken her to his Audi TT in the car park of the pub, Travers told police: ‘It was like, “sod it. I’ve got you a present. There’s your flowers and Prosecco to say goodbye and I’ve got myself a present, look”.
‘I unscrewed the cap (of the bottle) to smell the petrol and that’s when she either pushed it away and squeezed it or whatever and it just went all over my face and everywhere.’
The court heard how after the petrol ‘went everywhere’, Dr Ingall ‘panicked’ and was ‘frantically’ trying to escape the passenger side of the Audi.
‘I remember saying to her “calm down, calm down” as she’s trying to get out the car, kicking the glass,’ Travers told police.
Asked by detectives why she was acting so frantically, Travers added: ‘She was covered in petrol… I think I had dropped the bottle but I already had a lighter in my hand just to show that I was going to light it.
‘She knows I have talked in the past about setting fire to myself so no doubt she is quite frantic.’
Travers denied telling her that he was going to kill them both and insisted to officers: ‘I was telling her to “get out, I’m going to kill myself, get out, I’m going to kill myself”… I was ordering her to get out once the petrol had gone everywhere.
‘It spoilt my plan, I was hoping to give her Prosecco and flowers and then douse myself in petrol and set fire to myself.
‘The only intention was for her to leave and for me to set fire to myself to commit suicide in front of her.’
Travers, of no fixed address, denies attempted murder and making threats to kill.