Page last updated at 17:40 GMT, Wednesday, 21 October 2009 18:40 UK

Phone boss 'traded knife swipes'

Sally Sinclair (from Hampshire police)
Sally Sinclair was head of business analysis at Vodafone

A man accused of murdering his Vodafone executive wife has told a court the pair traded swipes with knives after she admitted having an affair.

Sally Sinclair, 40, was found with more than 30 stab wounds at their home in Amport, Hampshire, in August 2008.

At the time, she was head of business analysis at the mobile phone firm's world headquarters near Newbury.

Alisdair Sinclair, 48, formerly of Georgia Lane, Amport, began giving his evidence at Winchester Crown Court.

Mr Sinclair cried several times in court, the BBC's Steve Humphrey said.

The defendant told the court he had run at his wife of 21 years while she finally admitted to having an affair, while they argued in the kitchen of their rented luxury property.

I would give up my life for Sally but I thought I was dying
Alisdair Sinclair

Mr Sinclair, a house husband, told the jury she had got a knife from a block and stabbed him in the hands while he shielded himself.

He then got a knife himself, he said, and they traded swipes before he was stabbed in the stomach.

Eventually, he lunged at her neck in a panic, as he thought he was dying, and she had fallen to the floor "like a stone", the court heard.

"All I remember thinking is I'm dying, I'm dying - Sally's strong," he said.

"If I had known what had happened I would have more than willingly died instead - that's for sure. I would give up my life for Sally but I thought I was dying."

'100 cigarettes a day'

He said he remembered nothing after kneeling beside her and thinking she was dead, including inflicting a massive sawn wound to her neck.

Mr Sinclair admitted in court that he had killed his wife and had inflicted the "horrible" injuries, but said he had never meant to do it and that it was self defence up until the point she had fallen.

His defence counsel Robert Fortune QC asked: "Were all the injuries self-defence or beyond self-defence?"

The country home where Mrs Sinclair lived
The couple rented the secluded detached house in Amport

Mr Sinclair replied: "I believe it went beyond self-defence."

In the witness box, Mr Sinclair also described how he had been depressed at various times in his life, particularly after the death of his father.

He told the court he had been taking medication and was smoking up to 100 cigarettes a day.

Mr Sinclair also gave the jury an insight into his obsessive behaviour.

He said he often bought dozens of pairs of socks and trousers and the couple also had a collection of very expensive cars.

He hardly ever drove them, he told the court.

The trial continues.

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