Woman tells Portsmouth Crown Court attempted murder jury of terror as ex-partner 'poured petrol over her in Audi TT' at Denmead pub car park
A ‘TERRIFIED’ woman told jurors she ‘thought she was going to die’ when her jilted ex- tried to burn them both to death in his car and told her: ‘We’re going to die together.’
Waterlooville psychologist, Dr Georgina Ingall was locked in Gary Travers’ Audi TT before he launched two litres of petrol over her while trying to spark a lighter, Portsmouth Crown Court heard at the start of a five-day trial.
‘Heartbroken’ Travers, 43, had ‘hopes’ of saving the relationship after arranging to meet Ms Ingall at the White Hart pub car park in Hambledon Road, Denmead, on Christmas Eve last year.
The defendant gave Ms Ingall flowers and Prosecco once she was in the car but after being told the relationship was over he reached for a bottle which had been filled with petrol, jurors were told.
Ms Ingall, 47, giving evidence behind a screen, said: ‘(Travers) was saying: “We’re going to die and we’re going to die together.
‘He then got a lighter from somewhere and said “this is it” before starting to count down “five, four, three…”.
‘He kept asking me if I was “is ready to die”.
‘It was very clear he wanted us to die together. He took the lid off the bottle and was violently shaking it everywhere.
‘It went down my face, into my mouth and eyes.
‘I was saying “it doesn’t have to be like this, we don’t have to die like this.’
But after resigning herself to death, Ms Ingall found the strength to rally after thinking of her children.
Despite being covered in petrol and with limited vision after petrol had gone in her eyes while feeling lightheaded from the fumes, the ‘trapped’ victim struggled to find a way out with the passenger door handle not working.
This was deliberately broken, according to the prosecution, to stop her escaping.
Attempts to grab the keys also proved fruitless after Travers moved them before repeating they were 'going to die’.
The martial arts student summoned all her strength as Travers throttled her round the neck to prevent her getting out the car.
‘I started hammering the window. I was fighting for my life,’ she told jurors.
‘I was shouting and screaming and trying to get out - but I couldn’t.
‘Suddenly the window opened so I screamed for help but Gary grabbed me in a headlock to prevent me leaving.’
She added: ‘Then a door opened and a lady grabbed me round the waist and was shouting “let her go” while Gary was trying to pull me back.
‘I back fisted him in the face and managed to wriggle free and then run for my life.’
Ms Ingall, who broke down in tears, was in no doubt over Travers’ intentions.
‘He never intended us to leave the car - we were both meant to die,’ she said.
‘I’m a very lucky lady to be stood here today.’
Fending off questions from Richard Onslow, for the defence, she added: ‘It is imprinted on my mind and will be for the rest of my life what happened.’
Mr Onslow revealed to the court how ‘suicidal’ diabetic Travers had previously intended to kill himself by setting himself on fire in his car after a former relationship ‘ended badly’ but was arrested for drink-driving by police.
The court - including socially-distanced jurors - was told the pair formed a relationship in February 2018 before Travers moved in with Ms Ingall.
But in November last year she asked the defendant to move out after discovering a cocaine wrapper in the house having previously warned him she did not want drugs in her property.
Despite still seeing each other, Travers’ insecurity then spiralled out of control resulting in him bombarding her with phone calls and text messages when she was out for her Christmas work party on December 23, prosecutor Martyn Booth said.
Around midnight he turned up unannounced at her house before a ‘fraught’ conversation where it was accepted the relationship was over.
In his messages to Ingall he said ‘you're absolutely breaking my heart’ before turning on himself.
‘I’m an absolute pathetic loser. I have a ... body and no friends and now I have messed this up,’ he said.
But as a way of ‘saying goodbye’ Ms Ingall agreed to meet Travers the following day at the pub car park just after 10am.
Travers, of no fixed address but who was living with his parents in Hedge End, told police after his arrest he only intended to kill himself in front of his former partner - not her.
He denies attempted murder, making threats to kill and false imprisonment.