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Michael Barnard tried to murder wife at Hextable caravan after row over allegedly raping a woman, court hears

A husband tried to kill his wife after they rowed about him allegedly raping a woman two weeks earlier, a court heard.

Michael Barnard told his wife Shannon Thompson "You have got to die" before repeatedly stabbing her in the chest and abdomen.

Shannon, 21, was taken to hospital with injuries to her lungs liver and bowel.

Maidstone Crown Court
Maidstone Crown Court

“She was extremely fortunate to survive,” prosecutor Christopher May told Maidstone Crown Court.

The attack happened at the couple’s fixed caravan at Valley Park, Lower Road, Hextable, on January 11 this year, the jury of six men and six women was told today.

The previous month Barnard, 24, raped a woman at the caravan while his wife slept off the effects of drink and “doing balloons” of nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas, it was alleged.

Mr May said the victim and others had been out at Bluewater shopping centre drinking cocktails before having more alcohol and doing balloons of the gas at the caravan.

After Shannon was sick and went to bed, Barnard was left alone with the alleged victim.

He told her he loved her and then put his hand down her trousers. He also exposed himself, said Mr May.

She rang a friend but was told she could not go to her home because everyone was asleep. She did not know who else to ring, so she went back inside the caravan.

Barnard tried to kiss her and touch her. She told him not to. He started crying and said he wanted to talk.

“He said he was f----- up in the head and didn’t want to be married,” said Mr May.

“He moved closer to her. She told him not to. He kept trying to kiss her.

"He stabbed her repeatedly to the chest and abdomen, causing a large number of injuries, some of which were very serious" - prosecutor Christopher May

“At one point, she bit him to try to stop him. His response was if she bit him, she must like what he was doing.”

She went to sleep still wearing her clothes. Barnard then held her from behind. He turned the music up on the TV and told her his wife was asleep.

“She was telling him to go away,” said Mr May.

“He was holding her. He kept trying to put his hand down her trousers. She was trying to resist.

“He turned her over so she was on her back. He got on top of her. He managed to pull her jeans off.”

He had intercourse with her using force by putting his shoulder in her face as she struggled to breathe.

Afterwards, he told her it was alright and said he would not tell anyone.

About two days later the woman told a friend she had been raped. She reported it at a hospital at the end of December.

Mr May said it was understood that Barnard accepted he had intercourse with the woman, but claimed she consented.

Shannon was inclined to believe his claim that he had not raped the woman.

But on January 11, they rowed about him cheating on her. She went to sleep on a sofa and was woken up by the sound of Barnard on the phone to his father, who also lived on the caravan site.

Barnard then came out of the bedroom with a kitchen knife and started to stab her.

“She was screaming,” said Mr May.

“He pushed her into the kitchen. He said: ‘You have got to die.’

“He then stabbed her repeatedly to the chest and abdomen, causing a large number of injuries, some of which were very serious.

“She sustained many wounds to her hands and palms, sometimes referred to as defensive injuries as she tried to fight him off and defend herself from the attack.

“Although it is not entirely clear how it happened, he also sustained a significant wound to the left side of his chest.

"It is possible, even likely, he did this to himself deliberately.

“It was not caused by his wife. She at no point had the knife.”

Barnard was taken to hospital before an ambulance arrived for his wife. She remained in hospital for some time.

“It’s the Crown’s case he attempted to kill his wife but at the very least what he did was cause grievous bodily harm to her,” added Mr May.

Barnard, denies attempted murder, an alternative charge of causing grievous bodily harm with intent and rape.

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