Murder trial jury retires to consider verdict

A jury has retired to decide whether a furious man murdered his Chorley accountant wife or not.

Thursday, 6th April 2017, 6:57 pm
Updated Tuesday, 9th May 2017, 6:27 pm
Stuart and Mandy Gallear

Stuart Gallear, 51, admits killing wife Mandy, 42, in the kitchen of their home in Hindley, Wigan, but says he did not intend do so and lost his self-control.

He says he “lost it” as he picked up a large knife and plunged it into her chest as the couple discussed their imminent break-up.

Police found the mother-of-two lying motionless on the kitchen floor of the family home in Makinson Avenue with three deep wounds to her chest.

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The scene of the fatal stabbing in Hindley

The accountant was rushed to hospital on the afternoon of October 6 last year but was later pronounced dead.

Six months earlier Mrs Gallear, who worked at Chorley-based property developers Heaton Estates, confessed to having an affair but denied it was with joiner Mark Prescott and said it had ended.

But on October 5 the son of Mr Prescott’s partner called at the Gallears’ front door and revealed the relationship was ongoing.

In his closing speech to jurors at Manchester Crown Court, defence barrister Simon Csoka QC suggested the defendant was somebody who repressed his feelings and emotions.

Mandy Gallear

When such a person did lose his self-control it would be more unexpected and “catastrophic”, he said.

He said: “From what you have seen of the personality of Stuart Gallear, you have got the impression of somebody who is buttoned-up all all the time. Constantly trying to control their emotions, constantly trying to stop showing their emotions.

“He is a man who exercises self control. A buttoned up, repressed person but still normal.

“It is because of that that this brutal and tragic death happened. It was what led to Stuart Gallear killing the woman he loved. In some ways he exercised too much self control.”

The scene of the fatal stabbing in Hindley

He suggested that if Gallear had given Mr Prescott “a good hiding” that probably would have been the end of it.

Mr Csoka said the stab wounds were delivered in quick succession in the same area – consistent with a loss of self-control.

Gallear then “came back to his senses” in seconds and was in “disbelief and shock”, said the barrister.

He dialled 999 but rather than “screaming and shouting” at the call operator he “desperately listens” to their instructions as he vainly tried to save his wife’s life

Mandy Gallear

Mr Csoka told jurors: “He has snapped in a way which I suggest that a reasonable person might do, not necessarily would do.

“No doubt he still cannot understand or explain what he did. It is not really about explaining it to you, It is about explaining it himself. He has to live with it.”

Alaric Bassano, prosecuting, said: “At the beginning when interviewed by the police, the defendant’s opening gambit was he had unintentionally killed his wife. In evidence yesterday he said he never intended to hurt Mandy,.

“Those assertions are not realistic, are they?”

He said when considering Gallear’s state of mind at the time of the killing the jury should ask themselves why he picked up the knife, why he plunged it into her chest at least three times and the force of the blows, including one said to be “severe” which penetrated bone.

Mr Bassano said: “There is only one sensible answer to those questions and it is because at the time he was doing so he intended to kill his wife or at the very least he was intending to cause her really serious injury.”

He went on to say the jury may think there was a difference between somebody who has lost self-control and somebody who in anger has lost their temper

The prosecutor added there was “a wealth of evidence” that the defendant “harboured great feelings of anger and resentment” on October 5 and 6, particularly concerning Mr Prescott.

He said: “They do indicate his seething anger thoroughout the day and the immediate prelude as to what happened in the kitchen.

“Was this really a case of the defendant losing his self control or was it the case, at the relevant time, Mandy Gallear bore the brunt of his furious anger?”

Gallear has admitted the manslaughter of his wife but denies murder.

The jury has been sent out to consider its verdict.