Published: 15:55, 04 September 2019
| Updated: 12:26, 11 September 2019
A suicidal husband who carried out a bizarre ritual before stabbing his devoted wife has been found guilty of trying to murder her.
Shaun May, from Tunbridge Wells, made trusting teacher Laura lie on the bed with her face covered with a tea towel while he counted down from 10 - after promising her a present.
Instead, the 34-year-old plunged a knife into her neck and shoulder before later driving her to hospital for the wound to be treated.
Now a judge has ordered May, of Station Road, to be kept in custody while psychiatric tests are done to see what danger he poses in the future.
May - who didn't give evidence at his trial at Maidstone Crown Court - remained passive through the delivery of the jury's verdict. He had denied the offence.
Mrs May had told a packed courtroom of expecting a puppy - and her shock at the unprovoked attack.
She said she had laid on the bed at their home as her husband counted on several occasions from 10, but never got to zero.
"She then felt something in her left shoulder, a clamping feeling... she thought at first it was a puppy clinging to her skin but then realised it felt cold and she felt something trickling down her back..." - prosecutor Robin Griffiths
She said the couple - who were married 14 months ago - had returned from a happy holiday in Korea only days earlier.
Prosecutor Robin Griffiths said: "As far as Mrs May was concerned it was a good relationship and she could not remember them ever having an argument before.
"What happened that morning was totally unexpected."
After sharing a takeaway the couple went to bed but in the early hours May went downstairs telling his wife he thought he heard a noise.
"He returned to bed, cuddled and there was some sexual activity before telling her he had a present for her and asked her to close her eyes. She did so and he left the room," the jury heard.
Mr Griffiths said he asked his wife to lie down on the bed and placed a tea towel over her face and when she could hear her mobile phone vibrate he told her to ignore it.
He said it was then May told himself: "Come on Shaun," before kneeling by her side and counting "from 10 towards zero" but as it got to the low numbers, he began saying "1.5, 1.4..." before returning to 10.
The jury heard that when Mrs May was becoming impatient he promised her he wouldn't keep her waiting any longer and put the tea towel over her face again.
"She then felt something in her left shoulder, a clamping feeling.
"She thought at first it was a puppy clinging to her skin but then realised it felt cold and she felt something trickling down her back."
The prosecution revealed how May plunged the kitchen knife through her neck, narrowly missing vital arteries, before pointing a knife at his stomach saying he was going to kill himself.
May later told her he had been fired from his job the day before over financial irregularities and he didn't know how they would be able to pay their mortgage.
He will be sentenced in October.
More by this authorPaul Hooper