Angry couple ‘tried to kill builder’
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London - A couple tried to murder their builder by pinning him to a skip and stabbing him in the neck with a screwdriver in a row over shoddy work, a court heard on Wednesday.
Robert Symons, 51, and Jenny Turrell, 47, had hired Jeff King to carry out work at their Kent home but were left dissatisfied and refused to pay him.
King allegedly returned to the house in Swanley and caused £20 000 worth of damage.
Canterbury Crown Court was told that proceedings against King were launched, but several days after a court appearance, Symons allegedly pulled up in a red van and trapped King against a skip, before getting out and punching him in the face.
His partner then stabbed the builder “a couple of times” in the neck with a screwdriver, jurors were told.
Prosecuting, Dominic Connolly said: “Symons appeared at the back of the van. He was out of control. He was shouting, although Mr King couldn’t understand what he was saying. Before he had a chance to do or say anything, Symons punched him to the face, followed by a number of further blows to his face and body.”
King told police he felt his head being smashed against the skip and as he lay on the ground, Symons kicked his face, head and body.
“The next thing he recalls is seeing Turrell standing in front of him shouting and screaming”, the prosecutor said.
“She swung her right hand at him and it made contact with his neck or face.
“The blade of the screwdriver was protruding from her closed fist. She kept moving towards him, saying: ‘I’ll stab you again.’
“As he was backing away he felt another blow to the head and realised he was being attacked again by Symons.”
The incident in Margate, Kent, was witnessed by Clare Breakspear, who was sitting in her car with her 10 year-old son.
She told police she saw Turrell holding a screwdriver behind her back and called the police.
Connolly said: “Clare Breakspear saw Turrell stab Mr King a couple of times to his neck.
“She described to police how the blows were fast but she paused between each blow to shout and swear at Mr King.”
Symons later told police that the two had argued near his van and he believed King was reaching for a weapon in his bag so hit him “instinctively”.
Turrell admitted stabbing the builder in the neck with the screwdriver but claimed it was not on purpose.
Symons and Turrell deny attempting to kill the workman, or, alternatively, wounding him with intent and possessing an offensive weapon.
The trial continues.