Page last updated at 18:03 GMT, Tuesday, 20 October 2009 19:03 UK

Aphrodisiac attack wife convicted

Joanne and Peter Hale
Peter Hale was led to the woodland by his wife believing they would have sex

A woman who fed her husband an aphrodisiac before cutting his throat and going off to meet another man has been convicted of attempted murder.

Joanne Hale, 39, gave her husband Peter a herb called horny goat weed before cutting his throat in woodland at Stoke Bishop, Bristol, on 27 December 2008.

Bristol Crown Court heard she then left the scene to have a romantic liaison with a man she had met on the internet.

Hale, of Stapleton, will be sentenced at a later date.

The trial jury heard that after taking the aphrodisiac, Mr Hale was led to the woodland by his wife believing they would have sex.

Internet relationship

Instead Joanne Hale inflicted a 12cm (4.7in) cut to his throat and then stabbed him, leaving a wound to his chest which caused lung collapse, cardiac arrest and heart damage.

Christopher Armstrong, the surgeon who treated Mr Hale, said that he had come "close to death".

After the attack, she left Mr Hale in the care of a passer-by and went to Bristol Parkway railway station to meet Philip Sudol, a married postman from Leeds, with whom she had been having an internet relationship.

Philip Sudol
Philip Sudol was held on suspicion of attempted murder but later released

Mr Sudol told the court of his shock as he arrived back at the Hales' home in Hawksmoor Lane to be met by a large number of police.

"I heard the police say there had been some sort of incident, and she had been accused of being involved with that incident and they arrested her on attempted murder.

"A couple of minutes later someone came over and arrested me as an attempted murderer - I was quite taken aback by that. I'd been in Bristol for an hour, maybe less," he said.

Mr Sudol was subsequently released.

Joanne Hale declined to give evidence at her trial but she had told police that Mr Hale had cut his own throat after an argument.

She was convicted by a majority verdict.

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