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Last Updated: Friday, 8 September 2006, 12:11 GMT 13:11 UK
Childhood abuse 'sparked attack'
A "loving husband" stabbed his wife in the chest when memories of childhood abuse came flooding back, the Old Bailey has heard.

Margaret Murray, 64, survived the attack by her husband Anthony at their home in Shooter's Hill, south London.

Mr Murray, 65, had recently successfully sued a school run by a religious order in Ireland.

After admitting wounding he was sent for hospital treatment after reports showed he was mentally ill at the time.

The prosecution said the deterioration of his wife's chronic health had pushed him over the brink.

Suicide attempts

At the time of the attack, Mr Murray had been married to his wife for 35 years and had spent 20 of those years looking after her at their home.

Mark Paltenghi, prosecuting, said Mr Murray appeared to be "devoted" to his wife but in February this year he had attacked her in her bed.

It is a cruel irony that despite receiving compensation for the cruel treatment he suffered, there was a re-emergence of memories
Michael Borrelli QC, defending

He said: "He said he could not look after her anymore and wanted her to go with him.

"He stabbed her in the top of her chest and could not get the knife out again."

He called for an ambulance and Mrs Murray was taken to hospital where the knife was removed.

She refused to blame her husband who had suffered from depression for 20 years and had attempted suicide three times. She said he needed help.

Michael Borrelli QC, defending said: "Mr Murray experienced an appalling brutality in an industrial home run by the Christian Brothers in Ireland where he spent most of his childhood.

Industrial home

"It is a cruel irony that despite receiving compensation for the cruel treatment he suffered, there was a re-emergence of memories.

"It clearly led to a breakdown which led to an attempt on his wife's life."

Murray was given a hospital order under the Mental Health Act after doctors said he needed prolonged treatment.

The Christian Brothers religious order in Ireland has recently dealt with thousands of claims of cruelty from former pupils.


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