Navy wife on trial accused of trying to murder sailor

Crystal Smith, who is on trial for attempting to murder her husband
Crystal Smith, who is on trial for attempting to murder her husband
  • Jurors told woman knifed husband with eight inch blade from behind
  • Prosecutor tells court pair had ‘volatile’ six-year relationship
  • They had been out for HMS Lancaster pre-deployment party at Southsea hotel
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A WOMAN stabbed her sailor husband three times with an 8in kitchen blade leaving him bleeding on the floor, a court heard.

Crystal Smith is accused of trying to murder her husband Simon Smith and then fleeing their house in Gorselands Way, Gosport, forcing him to call for help, prosecutor Barnaby Shaw said.

Quite plainly he did not bleed to death but the question for you is that whether that’s no thanks to her. She left him bleeding profusely

Prosecutor Barnaby Shaw

Portsmouth Crown Court heard it is alleged to have happened after the 30-year-old, now of Methuen Road, Southsea, subjected her husband to an abusive tirade in a taxi on the way home from the Royal Beach Hotel in Southsea.

When the pair returned home from the HMS Lancaster ship’s company pre-deployment party on February 12 she threw a knife block at him.

Leading Seaman Smith decided to leave – before shortly returning to get his own keys and pack a bag.

Mr Shaw said it was then when Mr Smith was packing his bag upstairs in his own room his wife went upstairs with one of the knives from the block and stabbed her husband three times.

He said: ‘Two of the incisions were into the top left side of the back, the flank. One however cut him from the rear in the armpit through the back of his arm.’

That cut went through the front of his arm, passing through muscle hitting an artery, he added.

He said: ‘He immediately realised he’d been stabbed and said “what have you done” turning to her. He said that her response was to say “what have I done? I’m going to go to prison for this”.’

‘As he turns to look at her he doesn’t in fact see the knife. He said that she became effectively hysterical.’

Mr Shaw added: ‘He, perhaps in a moment of clarity realises an ambulance must be called and asks her to call it. She doesn’t.’

Instead she fled to a neighbour’s home where she was arrested at 12.55am.

Other neighbours heard the commotion and found Mr Smith slumped in the hallway of his home.

PC Jonathan Roper said in his statement she had blood on her arms when she was arrested. She was shouting ‘Oh my god what have I done, I think I’ve killed him,’ before officers arrived, Mr Shaw told jurors.

Body-worn video played in court showed her screaming ‘what have I done’ repeatedly from her arrest through to her arrival at Waterlooville police station cells. One officer described her as screaming uncontrollably and looking at her hands.

Mr Shaw told jurors: ‘Quite plainly he did not bleed to death but the question for you is that whether that’s no thanks to her. She left him bleeding profusely.

‘The question for you in this trial is whether she intended to kill him.’

Two other pieces of body-worn footage from PC Danielle Ruzewicz and PC Christopher Dawes showed Mr Smith laying in pools of blood as they administered first aid before paramedics arrived.

PC Dawes’ video showed him searching the house and opening Mr Smith’s bedroom to find blood on the door and floor. In the footage Mr Smith, lying on his side, tells officers: ‘I went upstairs. I got stabbed.’

He adds: ‘I came from upstairs to downstairs. I was in the bedroom when she stabbed me.’

Smith is also charged with an alternative count of wounding with intent.


Court is told about couple’s ‘volatile’ relationship

PROSECUTOR Barnaby Shaw said Crystal Smith has assaulted her husband on other occassions and that the pair had a ‘volatile’ six-year relationship.

Mr Shaw said a discussion at a party in May last year where Simon Smith had talked about previous partners had been brought up by Mrs Smith on the way back in the taxi from the HMS Lancaster party this February.

But he added: ‘There were other physical assaults over the tiniest things, a board game perhaps not going her way.’

On another occasion, a neighbour followed them home to see Mrs Smith telling her husband to leave the house before getting a baseball bat before the friend took it off her.

Mr Shaw added: ‘It wasn’t the first time a baseball bat came into the course of an argument.’

He said there was a dent in their kitchen door from where she had used one previously.

He added it had been turbulent at times through the relationship, with friction caused from his long overseas deployment and issues of money and mistrust. Mr Shaw said the alleged stabbing victim described his wife as ‘controlling’.