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Man stabbed wife in back for 'hogging the bedsheets’

Date

Claire Carter

A retired engineer tried to murder his wife with a kitchen knife after he woke to find her hogging the bedsheets, leaving him with cold feet, a court heard.

Derek Miller, 76, stabbed his wife Galina, 57, in the back with a blade and told her: "You will die now."

After she fled the house in her dressing gown, he dialled the police and said: "I have just attempted to kill my wife. She's run away – I have failed." He later told police: "I’m sorry, it had to be done. She has goaded me for years."

Portsmouth Crown Court heard that the couple's 11-year marriage had been "on the rocks", but they had tried to patch things up the previous night. Mr Miller had bought his wife chocolates and the ''biggest bunch of flowers he could find'' and cooked dinner.

But he is alleged to have flown into a rage the next morning when he woke with no covers on his feet.

Rob Welling, prosecuting, told the jury: "That instantly made him angry and aggressive towards Galina. All the good work that had been done the night before collapsed around them and there was more arguing."

Mr Miller, a well-known member of the Portsmouth sailing community, is alleged to have attacked his Russian-born second wife as she emptied the bins at their home in the city on November 26 last year.

Mr Welling said: "She became aware of something odd about her shoulder. She turned round and found the defendant there in the kitchen, holding a huge kitchen knife."

Mrs Miller pushed her husband to the floor and ran out of the front door to find help. She was taken to hospital bleeding from the shoulder but her injuries were not life threatening.

The court heard that the couple met in 2002 after exchanging emails and booking two rooms at a hotel in Moscow's Red Square. Mr Miller was a professional footballer in his youth before training in aeronautical engineering and becoming an IT salesman, the jury was told.

His career gave him considerable wealth and he was able to retire at the age of 50 before moving to Portsmouth in 1999 to pursue his love of sailing, the court heard.

However, his wife recently discovered that he was more than £70,000 ($128,000) in debt and believed he had been looking on the internet for prostitutes, the jury was told.

He had also become resentful as she gained more independence after finding a job teaching English to foreign students, it was alleged.

Mr Miller denies attempted murder. He told the jury: "She turned her back and I picked up the knife. I was in a completely different world. I don’t know why I did it.

"I did not intend to do it. I did not even know the knife was there. It just happened to be on the bench by the sink."

The trial continues.

Telegraph, UK

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