‘Stabbing accused hit and swung bat at husband before’

Crystal Smith arriving at Portsmouth Crown Court
Crystal Smith arriving at Portsmouth Crown Court
  • Attempted murder accused had swung bat at husband, hit him and scratched him before, jurors told
  • Defence suggest man was stabbed in struggle with his wife and he had grabbed her by throat on the night
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A SAILOR who suffered stab wounds to his back and arm has told a court how his wife previously scratched, hit and swung at him with a baseball bat.

Simon Smith was giving evidence at Portsmouth Crown Court at his wife Crystal Smith’s trial. She is accused of trying to murder him.

Are you quite confident that Crystal did not stab you in the course of a struggle and you also using violence?

Defence barrister Matthew Jewell

Footage played in court on Monday showed Mr Smith lying on the floor near his front door in a pool of blood as police arrived at his Gorselands Way home in Gosport.

The prosecution alleges after a navy night out Smith, 30, now of Methuen Road, Southsea, stabbed her husband in the back in his upstairs bedroom as he packed a bag to leave, before she then fled the house. But the defence say he was stabbed in a struggle between them in the early hours of February 13 – something he denies.

Giving evidence, Leading Seaman Smith told jurors that on the night he was stabbed his wife was verbally abusive towards him.

He said: ‘I shut down, tried to ignore it. I knew things would happen when we got home, that’s how it worked.’

Mr Smith added: ‘The phrase she used was “wait until we get home”. Then when we got home it’s happened.’

He described hearing a creaking stair as his wife reached the top of the stairs at their home just before he was stabbed.

Mr Smith said: ‘The warm sensation of blood coming down my arm was the first thing I knew of what she had done.’

He said his wife was ‘babbling’ saying ‘what have I done’ and as he went downstairs to apply a tourniquet to his arm she ran out the house leaving him to call an ambulance.

He was on his own for three to four minutes before a neighbour who heard the commotion arrived, he said.

Mr Smith told jurors he still suffers from a loss in sensation in his left arm from the elbow.

The sailor, who serves in HMS Lancaster and is originally from Grimsby, said he had been ‘hesitant’ to go out with her on the night he was stabbed and their relationship had no intimacy.

Asked by prosecutor Barnaby Shaw if there had been other incidents, he replied: ‘There were several over the course of the relationship.’

He said that included when he made gravy incorrectly in 2009 prompting his wife to throw the gravy and dishes at a wall – but the defence say she had made the gravy.

On another occasion he said she threw a drink at his face at V Festival in 2009 when he put extra stones in her bag after she had been collecting them. The defence said Mr Smith had put rubbish and a used tampon in the bag.

Mr Smith also said his wife once swung at him with a baseball bat and hit their kitchen door when he closed it.

During cross-examination, defence barrister Matthew Jewell said that on the night of the stabbing Mr Smith had put his hand round his wife’s throat and pushed her over the cooker.

It was then she swept the knives off the side, he added. The prosecution allege she threw a knifeblock at him.

He said that Mr Smith later grabbed his wife by the throat and pushed her on to the floor, where she hit her head.

Mr Smith said none of this happened.

Mr Jewell said when the sailor left briefly but then returned he again grabbed his wife by the throat.

‘You again grabbed her by the throat, started to squeeze her throat stopping her from breathing saying “go on pretend to pass out like you normally do”.’ Again Mr Smith said this did not happen.

Mr Jewell added: ‘Are you quite confident that Crystal did not stab you in the course of a struggle and you were also using violence?’ Mr Smith replied: ‘Very.’

Mr Jewell also put it to the sailor that his wife went to get a tea towel from the kitchen to use as a tourniquet, did not leave him after the stabbing and that she could be heard on a 999 call.

Mr Smith said she was out of the house but could have been heard and agreed somebody must have gone into the kitchen due to footmarks left in there. ‘She was there, I suggest, when you were on the phone to the ambulance and she had helped you, hadn’t she, before she left?,’ Mr Jewell said.

Mr Smith replied: ‘No she hadn’t.’