Man guilty of murdering wife

A FORMER Suffolk pub owner accused of stabbing his wife to death with a bayonet because he thought she was having an affair has been convicted of her murder.

A FORMER Suffolk pub owner accused of stabbing his wife to death with a bayonet because he thought she was having an affair has been convicted of her murder.

A jury at Ipswich Crown Court took less than three hours yesterday to find 59-year-old Paul Green guilty of killing Sharon Green. He is due to return to court today to be sentenced.

Trial judge John Devaux said he was required to pass a life sentence on Green but would hear from his defence counsel, Brian Reece, before deciding the minimum term he should serve before he could be considered for release.

The court heard that Green, who lived with his 53-year-old wife at the former Old Bell public house in Marlesford, had stabbed her in the chest five times with a bayonet which was part of a collection of Second World War memorabilia he kept in a 'museum' at the pub and had then tried to kill himself by driving into a tree.

Green had three grown up children with his wife and during the four-day trial son Edward Green, 29, described how he desperately tried to save his mother's life after finding her blood-stained body lying on his parents' bedroom floor.

He had tried to give her the kiss of life while waiting for paramedics to arrive but was unsuccessful because of the extent of her injuries.

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The court also heard evidence from Steven Pye, of Bramford, who got to know the Greens after doing repairs to the thatched roof of the Old Bell after it was closed as a pub and converted into a private residence by the couple.

Mr Pye, a bachelor, denied having an affair with Mrs Green but accepted exchanging text messages and e-mails with her.

Giving evidence during the trial Green, who denied murdering his wife, said that on the morning of her death he had decided to ask her if she had been contacting Mr Pye on the computer and, as he made his way to their bedroom, he had picked up a bayonet with a 10-inch blade.

He claimed he had intended to frighten his wife with it but had stabbed her after she allegedly told him she had been having sex with Mr Pye for six months and had also had a two-year affair with a family friend.

Green said he remembered inflicting the first two wounds after she told him: 'I go through the motions with you.' But he could not remember inflicting the other wounds.

TORN between love and loyalty to his father - and a sense of loss for the mother he also loved - the Greens' eldest son Edward told of his family's torment.

Edward, 29, said: 'Losing your mum is hard enough, but losing both parents - not only through death, but through imprisonment is terrible. I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy.

'The only thing I am grateful for is that I found my mum and not my sister or brother.

'Dad said he doesn't regret what he has done. He said: 'I don't want to come of prison. The only thing I want is the truth to come out'.

'I don't see much of the family now. It's split the family a lot. Tommy and Louise (Edward's brother and sister) have a different opinion. He's still my dad, but they don't want to see him.

'Dad had been a dedicated husband for the best part of 36 or 37 years. They had never had an argument before in their lives. Dad never hit mum. He never even called her a name.

'They did everything together and went out everywhere together. They were happy.'

Edward said his upbringing was centred around the family.

He added: 'Dad is very much a family man. He would do everything for us. He always worked for everything in life.

'He keeps himself to himself and talks to people he trusts. He doesn't drink. He's just a very nice man.'

Of his mother, Edward said: 'She was a beautiful lady. She loved us to pieces. Mum would do anything for us. If any of us got into trouble she would do anything to help out.

'Mum was always phoning up, checking 'are you OK? Do you want to talk about anything?'. She was always laughing.

'I don't believe she was unhappy in her marriage at all.'

Things only appeared to change in the two weeks leading up to November 20. Edward Green believes his mother might have been suffering a mid-life crisis, leading her to form friendships with the men his father accused her of having affairs with.

Edward said: 'My dad suspected an affair or some sort of texting relationship. Mum was going out irregularly saying she was booking a doctor's appointment, but she wasn't. She was going out for hours and he didn't know where she was.

'That's what planted the seed. He surmised what was happening, until she admitted it to him. She turned around and said 'I have been having an affair with Stephen Foster for two years and I have seduced Pye.

'My dad calmly asked her and she turned around and told him that on the day she died. He just snapped.'

During Paul Green's trial, Mr Foster, who had been living in Felixstowe when he became friends with the Greens through visiting their pub, categorically denied any sexual liaison.

Steven Pye, a thatcher from Bramford, who met the Greens when working on the roof of their property also said he was just good friends with Mrs Green and was not having an affair.

However, the jury did hear Mr Pye had sent texts to Mrs Green, one of which started: 'I think we will be together one day.' Another text on November 17 stated: 'I will always love you.'

Edward said: 'When my dad has got something on his mind he won't sleep. He will stew over it and try to think logically to work things out.'