15th Aug, 2018

Airline pilot tells jury he felt "numb shock" after beating his estranged wife to death

AN AIRLINE pilot has told a jury he has no idea how many times he hit his estranged wife as he kicked, stamped and beat her to death in the kitchen of their former matrimonial home.

Andrew McIntosh’s attack had been motivated by his wife Patricia’s refusal to drop the asking price for the house, Grass Yard in Knightcote, near Gaydon, where she was still living.

Earlier in his evidence at Warwick Crown Court McIntosh, a pilot with the holiday company Tui, had spoken of his suicidal thoughts and attempts he had previously made to take his own life.

The 54-year-old, who was living in a cottage at Woolscott near Rugby, has pleaded not guilty to the murder of 56-year-old Patricia, or ‘Trish,’ in November last year, and it is said his defence was that he was suffering from diminished responsibility.

The jury has heard their home had been put up for sale after Mr McIntosh had moved out, but by November there had been little or no interest, and he wanted her to drop the price.

Trish would not do so, and after drinking four bottles of beer, Mr McIntosh drove to Knightcote where he asked her again to drop the price, which she declined to do and told him to leave.

He picked up a saucepan containing water and peas, and ‘smashed her with it,’ before also attacking her with his fists and feet, kicking her and stamping on her.

Prosecutor Peter Grieves-Smith told the jury: “She died on her kitchen floor. The defendant did nothing to help her after he had finished the attack. He didn’t try to give her first aid, or call 999, or anything

Giving evidence, Mr McIntosh said he had been born in Bradford, but after his parents separated when he was five, his mother took him and his sister to live on the Isle of Wight.

In response to questions from his barrister Rachel Brand QC, he said he left school with no qualifications and did a variety of jobs before meeting his first wife Carol.

After living with her parents in Wembley, they moved to Buckinghamshire where he got a job as an assistant air controller at Luton airport – and discovered his love of flying after Carol bought him a trial lesson as a birthday present.

He continued working in air traffic control and in a low-grade position at a flying club in return for flying lessons, and at a gliding club.

He got his private pilot’s licence and later, with the help of business development loans, went on training courses before qualifying as a pilot when he was 30.

After that he worked for various airlines including BMI Baby before joining Thomson, which then became Tui, mainly flying out of Birmingham and East Midlands airports.

As a result of that, he and Carol, who had two children, moved to Warwickshire and designed their own self-build house at Napton.

But in 2010 the marriage broke down ‘due to infidelity on my part over a period of about 12 months,’ and it was agreed she would remain at the house with the children, and he moved out and bought a house in Southam.

After meeting beautician Trish, Mr McIntosh said he suffered a heart attack while walking the dog in 2012, and had to undergo two operations to have stents fitted, and was off work for 16 months, during which time he was on reduced pay of 75 per cent.

Mr Mcintosh was admitted to hospital in October 2013 having taken “a lot more than the 60” co-codamol which he said was an attempted suicide.

He said: “I was becoming unhappy in the relationship, I felt I had overstepped the mark financially, and I couldn’t see me getting back to work.”

He also told the court he had self-harmed when he was a teenager and that was also a suicide attempt.

Of his relationship with Trish, who had a son from a previous marriage, he said before they had married in 2014 there had been an incident when they had argued after he stopped at a pub and had two pints as he was out cycling.

As a result he was late home, and could not drive to take her out for lunch because he had been drinking.

“She thought I was seeing someone. She called me a liar and she spat at me. It hit me in the face. Regretfully, I lashed out and hit her twice in the face, punches.”

He denied putting his hands round her throat, and denied being controlling or striking her on any other occasion until the night she died.

Of the build-up to their separation last year, when he moved out, he said it had become became very difficult to live with each-other, and they found ourselves living apart in the same house.

But he said he began to feel isolated and to have more thoughts of committing suicide.

That led to him being signed off work and receiving counselling before being found fit to return to duty in September.

He said he had wanted ‘a fair clean break’ with Trish which would enable him to keep his salary and pension, and had wanted her to consider dropping the asking price for the house.

Of the evening of the killing, he said he had drunk four small bottles of beer before driving to Knightcote, and had not phoned first because he knew she would not pick up his call.

Asked what Trish’s attitude was to his arrival, he said: “It was clearly hostile. She didn’t want me there. We both had a barrage of words. She was saying ‘no, get out.’”

Miss Brand asked what happened then, but he replied: “It’s hard to describe, really.”

Miss Brand asked: “About the number of times you hit her, you used the phrase to the police ‘I lost control.’ Are you able to expand on that now?”

Mr McIntosh answered: “I just remember having an overwhelming feeling of emotion, and I was unaware until it was too late that I had lost control.”

Miss Brand asked him: “Have you got any idea how many times you hit her or kicked her.” He replied: “No.”

And asked how he felt as he left the house, Mr McIntosh said: “Just numb, shock.”

The trial continues.

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