Estate agent convicted of murdering wife after lesbian affair claims

An estate agent has been found guilty of murdering his wife after she ordered him to leave their home on New Year's Eve following claims of a lesbian affair.

Wednesday, 27th June 2018, 5:08 pm
Updated Wednesday, 27th June 2018, 6:13 pm
South Africa-born David Clark, 49 of Stoke Prior, near Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, who has been found guilty at Birmingham Crown Court, of murdering his wife Melanie Clark, after she ordered him to leave their home on New Year's Eve following claims of a lesbian affair. Photo credit: Warwickshire Police and West Mercia Police /PA Wire

Jurors convicted David Clark by a majority 10-1 verdict of the murder of Melanie Clark, rejecting his account of being subjected to sexual humiliation and cruel remarks in the months and days before the killing.

South Africa-born Clark, 49, told his trial at Birmingham Crown Court he could remember nothing of stabbing his wife in the chest at their home in Stoke Prior, near Bromsgrove, Worcestershire.

Clark, who said his wife had "nearly always" belittled the size of his penis, denied murder, claiming he suffered a "loss of control" and was guilty of manslaughter.

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Jurors deliberated for about six hours before convicting Clark, who took part in a drinking game hours before lashing out at 44-year-old Mrs Clark with a chef's knife.

Clark, who will be sentenced next month, showed no obvious emotion as he was convicted.

A three-week trial was told Clark was around twice the drink-drive limit when he attacked Mrs Clark - who he had known since childhood - in her bedroom.

After the killing, the former military medic dialled the emergency services and told the operator: "I am sorry, I have killed my wife."

Clark told his trial that his wife had taunted him about an alleged tryst with his friend's daughter three days earlier.

But the Crown said Clark, originally from Durban, became "vengeful" and "uncontrollably angry" late on December 31 after exchanging a series of text messages with his wife while posting her claim of a lesbian affair on social media.

The court heard that Clark was arrested by armed police in the first minutes of 2018 after urging officers arriving at the scene to shoot him.

During his evidence, Clark said he did not know whether his wife's claim of having had a lesbian encounter with a family friend was true or not, and alleged that she had walked into his room, shouting and sniggering at him.

Mrs Clark, who died from a single wound to her chest, had allegedly told her husband that she had a sexual encounter with Katie Bastians on December 28 last year.

The father of Ms Bastians told the court he was left stunned after receiving a text message on New Year's Eve relating to the claim involving his daughter.

Steve Bastians, a friend of David Clark for around 20 years, said he could not recall any specific incident which backed up claims that Melanie had mocked her husband's "willy size".

Mr Bastians added that his daughter was, and still is, in a serious same-sex relationship in Australia and planned to get married.

Asked if he could remember any conversation with David in which he mentioned the size of his penis, Mr Bastians answered: "A long time ago I remember him saying he had a long one.

"I am guessing but I think (he made the comment) in South Africa. It's not something I have thought a great deal about."

Adjourning the case, Mr Justice Morris told Clark: "The mandatory sentence for murder is life imprisonment and on July 12 I will set the minimum term that you will have to serve."