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Man plunged knife into ex-wife's neck and strangled her with cord in attack at nail bar in Tonbridge High Street, attempted murder trial hears

The owner of a Tonbridge nail bar pleaded with her ex-husband not to kill her, for the sake of her children, it has been claimed.

Lien Dinh, 49, fought a desperate battle as she was strangled with cord, had her eyes gouged and a knife plunged into her neck, a jury has been told.

Police outside the nail bar in Tonbridge High Street after the incident
Police outside the nail bar in Tonbridge High Street after the incident

Thuan Dinh, 52, is alleged to have armed himself with petrol before lying in wait outside the VCC Boutique in Tonbridge High Street in March, a jury has been told.

Prosecutor Martin Yale claims Dinh planned to murder his ex before setting fire to the nail bar.

But as Dinh launched his murderous attack, she pleaded with him to 'think of her children'.

Dinh had gone to the business at 7.35am where Lien worked and carried out a "terrifying and brutal" attack, it was claimed

Mr Yale said the incident only ended when passers-by went to her aid.

Police outside the nail bar in Tonbridge High Street after the alleged attack
Police outside the nail bar in Tonbridge High Street after the alleged attack

Dinh, of Rowan Mews, Tonbridge, has denied attempting to murder his former wife four years after they had divorced.

The jury at Maidstone Crown Court heard that despite splitting, they had continued to live together - but Dinh became increasingly 'jealous and possessive' and the relationship deteriorated.

The day before the alleged attack the two had been in court when Dinh was given a restraining order prohibiting him from contacting her or going anywhere near his ex.

Mr Yale added: "It would seem that this was the final straw which pushed Dinh over the edge.

"The following morning, with the evidence she gave against him, no doubt, still ringing in his ears, he set off and lay in wait for Lien Dinh."

Dinh is on trial at Maidstone Crown Court. Stock picture
Dinh is on trial at Maidstone Crown Court. Stock picture

Dinh was caught on CCTV videos at 7.35am, carrying a bag near Waitrose car park, which it is claimed contained petrol and four butane gas cylinders.

Mr Yale alleged that Dinh was planning to set fire to the nail bar after murdering his ex wife, who had arrived at work at 9.04am.

"She put down her bag and headed to the toilet and while she was there she heard someone had entered the nail bar.

"She thought it was an employee, but in fact it was Dinh who had got in, locking the door behind him, ensuring she could not escape," he added.

Dinh looked angrily at her as he wrapped a cord around her throat and tried to strangle her, it was claimed.

Police outside the nail bar in Tonbridge High Street
Police outside the nail bar in Tonbridge High Street

Mr Yale added: "She struggled with him and attempted to pull the cord away from her neck with her own hands."

Mrs Dinh then screamed for help as Dinh began gouging her eyes and pushing down on her nose.

She then pleaded with her attacker to think of her children'and not to let them lose their mother'.

The jury heard that Dinh told her he loved her and began kissing her before grabbing her throat.

Mr Yale said Dinh then grabbed a fruit knife, which was kept at the nail bar, and plunged it into her neck, severing the carotid artery "which ordinarily would be immediately fatal."

Police outside the nail bar in Tonbridge High Street at the time
Police outside the nail bar in Tonbridge High Street at the time

It was then another member of staff arrived and raised the alarm and three passers-by ran into the shop and pulled him away.

After being arrested he told police he could not remember what had happened.

The hearing - in which all the members of the jury wore face masks and sat in booths - was translated by a Vietnamese interpreter.

The jury had heard how the couple had met in a a refugee camp in Hong Kong before coming to the UK.

To read more of our in depth coverage of all of the major trials coming out of crown and magistrates' courts across the county, click here.

For information on how we can report on court proceedings, click here.

Read more:All the latest news from Tonbridge

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