A NAVY wife has been caged for nine years for stabbing her sailor husband three times in the back as he packed a bag to leave their ‘doomed marriage’.
Crystal Smith, 30, bent over double and wept, shaking uncontrollably, while sitting in the dock as the judge jailed her at Portsmouth Crown Court yesterday.
Her husband Simon Smith, 30, watched as his partner of six years was sent down, leaving him to pick up the pieces of his and their daughter’s lives.
The sailor had been subjected to sustained domestic abuse as she had previously attacked him, controlled his finances and threatened to take his daughter from him if he ever left her.
The judge said the pair’s marriage was ‘doomed to fail’.
But it was Smith, of Methuen Road, Southsea, who ended their turbulent relationship when she stabbed him at their home after a navy function for the crew of HMS Lancaster at the Royal Beach Hotel on February 12 in Southsea.
ou crept up the stairs in stockinged feet and as his back was turned, stabbed him with glancing blows and one through the back of his arm through to the front, severing his arterial vessel spurting vast quantities of blood all over him and you and down the stairs as he went to get helpJudge Sarah Munro QC
Judge Sarah Munro QC said at the function a drunk Smith humiliated the Leading Seaman publicly, accusing him of infidelity, and she sang at him in a rap style in a taxi home repeatedly saying she would make it ‘rain with pain’.
When the pair arrived at their home in Gorselands Way, Gosport, she threw a knife block at him and punched him. He decided to leave before returning to get his own house keys and pack a bag.
Addressing Smith, Judge Munro said: ‘As he calmly packed his bag you armed yourself with the sharpest knife around.
‘You crept up the stairs in stockinged feet and as his back was turned, stabbed him with glancing blows and one through the back of his arm through to the front, severing his arterial vessel and spurting vast quantities of blood all over him and you and down the stairs as he went to get help.’
She added: ‘I’m quite satisfied the consequences of what you did very shortly hit you and at the time you stabbed Simon, in your drink, you were fuelled by the fury you had worked yourself up to and had the intention to cause him really serious harm.’
Detective Sergeant Roger Wood, from Hampshire Constabulary, said initially he feared Simon could have died after Smith fled the house. He had to undergo repeated operations for his wounds, one of which went straight through his arm.
Jurors took just three hours to clear former Humberside probation worker Smith of attempted murder but found her guilty of the alternative charge of wounding with intent. She has no previous convictions.
In a statement read out in court by prosecutor Barnaby Shaw, Simon said: ‘I was the victim of sustained physical abuse from my wife Crystal over the six years we were together. Crystal was the only serious relationship I ever had. Because I had nothing to compare it with I simply accepted it as normal.’
He added: ‘This incident has had a profound impact on my life and will continue to do so over many years. I have lost feeling in my left arm and it may never return.’
He was forced to leave his job on the frigate HMS Lancaster, taking up a role at shore base HMS Collingwood in Fareham so he could look after his child.
His added: ‘I’m left with recurring nightmare of the night of February 12.’
During the trial Smith said he attacked her and she claimed she came to with no memory of the attack.
But the judge said she was satisfied the sailor had not attacked his wife and had only ever restrained her once.
Judge Munro added by February 15 Smith, who was drunk at the navy function, had begun to manufacture excuses for what she had done.
Matthew Jewell, defending, said she had sought help for her husband after the attack. He added she suffered from mental health issues. As Smith was sent down she shouted: ‘Please Simon tell the truth, please Simon tell the truth.’
‘I hope I can now move on’
STABBING victim Simon Smith hopes he can now move on with his four-year-old daughter.
Simon, 30, suffered repeated abuse from his wife Crystal Smith over six years before she stabbed him after a night out on February 12.
Simon told The News: ‘It gives me the opportunity to move on with my life.
‘She’s not going to be there for our daughter growing up but that’s not my fault, that’s her fault.’
He added: ‘I expected to be called a liar and be accused of what she accused me of. But at the end of the day the jury believed she was the liar.’
Jurors heard how Smith believed her husband had cheated on her but the judge said this was untrue.
Simon was supported through the eight-day trial by his father Robert Smith, 68, and step-mother Elaine smith, 63, both of Grimsby. Simon moved to Gosport with his wife from the area.
Reading the family’s statement Detective Sergeant Roger Wood said: ‘This matter has highlighted the hidden, but sadly growing number, of domestic abuse cases where the female is the abuser.
Simon, after enduring a catalogue of abuse from Crystal Smith, has been brave enough to see this case through to a conclusion.
‘Crystal Smith has spread a web of lies among her friends to paint the picture that her husband Simon was the aggressor.’