A KITCHEN worker accused of trying to stab his first ever girlfriend to death said he thought she was ‘interested in him’ and mixed emotions ‘triggered’ a suicide bid telling jurors: ‘I was bringing the knife out to use on myself.’
Depressed Harry Middleton told Portsmouth Crown Court the ‘shock’ of seeing 21-year-old Louise Brindley ‘brought up all these old feelings and memories’ after she commented on his muscles and a necklace he was wearing at work inside the Wimpy kitchen at Funland on Hayling Island.
Jurors heard trainee teacher Miss Brindley suffered three stab wounds to her thigh and wounds to her chest in the alleged attack after she finished her shift as an elf at Santa’s Grotto on the floor above the restaurant last year on November 24 just before 3.30pm.
University student Middleton, 21, of Chidham Close, Havant, wept as he revealed he started to plan to kill himself with a 2.5in tomato knife while he prepared salad for Wimpy customers the next day, testing the blade’s sharpness as he did so.
Former South Downs College student Middleton, who said his depression started before he met Miss Brindley and was linked to financial trouble and his mother having a brain tumour, said seeing her at work and the thought of seeing her each weekend was ‘too much for me to cope with’.
When he saw her shortly before the incident he said he was upset and had ‘mixed emotions [he was] getting from her’ after she asked him to look after car keys and felt as if ‘she’s trying to hint if she’s interested in me’.
Under cross-examination he said: ‘Louise triggered me to start thinking about things of the relationship we had, meeting at the fair, it brought up all these old feelings and memories.’
Giving evidence yesterday he said: ‘At that point telling her everything it sort of made me think “yeah, I’m ready to take my own life”.’
Later the same day the pair hugged as he wept and ‘teared up,’ he told jurors, moving to a small store room for privacy at her suggestion where he started to hand back her car keys.
He said: ‘I was bringing the knife out to use on myself. Louise pulled her car keys away from me and since I didn’t expect her to move her hand away I sort of fell forwards into her.’
He added: ‘She called for [co-worker] Natalie [Page], then she reached out for the knife and started trying to get the knife away from me.’
Middleton said the pair struggled ‘wildly’ before Miss Brindley fell over.
‘Because we both had it, held onto the knife, I fell into her and because I fell over into her the knife went into her leg,’ he added.
Asked by his barrister Sarah Jones QC what state he was in he said: ‘Sort of horrified really because I’d just seen her stabbed – because of the way it was happening I was still thinking about suicide – I was, I don’t know, a mess, in my head’.
Asked what happened next he added: ‘We kept struggling for a little but, I can’t say how long. When I looked down to see where the knife was I realised we were both so close. No-one was going to give so I looked down, I saw the knife, that’s when I saw the blood and I saw the knife in her leg again. That’s when I froze up in horror thinking “oh my god I’ve stabbed her”.
‘I stopped moving, I stopped struggling. I stopped moving and cuddled her in a way.’
Wimpy manager Miss Page told jurors she heard Middleton say ‘I was trying to kill her’ but yesterday he denied this.
He said: ‘I tried to say “did I just kill her?” because I didn’t know what happened.
‘I saw the blade and her being taken away, I didn’t know what happened, so I was trying to ask her what happened.’
The defendant denies attempted murder and an alternative of wounding with intent.