Page last updated at 08:19 GMT, Wednesday, 20 May 2009 09:19 UK

Newlyweds accused of man's murder

A new husband beat to death the man his wife spent her wedding night with after she told him he had tried to rape her, Plymouth Crown Court has heard.

Wendy Shobrook, 40, from Plymouth, spent the night with George Auchterlonie following a wedding day row with her husband Barry Johnson, 40.

Mr Johnson, also from Plymouth, is accused of killing Mr Auchterlonie the next day, aided by his wife.

The couple deny murdering the victim between 9 and 14 June 2008.

Prosecutors told the jury that after their wedding Ms Shobrook and Mr Johnson went on a drinking binge.

George Auchterlonie was still alive, left by these defendants to die in a pool of blood
Martin Meeke QC

The couple later had a row at their Clowance Street home in which Ms Shobrook set fire to Mr Johnson's bed and screamed he should "burn in hell".

With the fire still blazing she then left to spend the night with Mr Auchterlonie, 45, with whom Mr Johnson believed she was having an affair.

Ms Shobrook has pleaded guilty to arson being reckless as to whether the life of another would be endangered.

The morning after the wedding she is alleged to have phoned Mr Johnson and told him that Mr Auchterlonie had tried to rape her and had stolen her money.

Martin Meeke QC, prosecuting, said the claims were false and she had set Mr Auchterlonie up.

Oar attack

He said: "The night before she had set fire to the bed in which her new husband was lying.

"She had left him on their wedding night, gone to spend the night at the address of a man who he believed she was having an affair with.

"She knew how he was likely to react.

"She let Johnson in, she set up George Auchterlonie for a beating."

Mr Auchterlonie was attacked at his home with a wooden oar and a tumbler glass.

He received 38 separate injuries, including 14 to the head and neck.

His body was not found for three days.

"When they left George Auchterlonie he was still alive, left by these defendants to die in a pool of blood," Mr Meeke added.

The trial continues.



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