Page last updated at 15:29 GMT, Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Man 'thought about killing wife'

Maureen Hale
Maureen Hale was a mother of five children

A businessman accused of murdering his wife nearly 10 years ago has told a court he had "dark thoughts" about killing her when he was depressed.

Prosecutors allege Martin Hale murdered Maureen, 42, during a row at their home in Thames Ditton, on the London-Surrey Border. Her body has never been found.

Mr Hale, 51, said a note which read "Maureen goes for good" was written when he was "not thinking straight".

He denies murder, maintaining his wife walked out on him in June 1999.

Mr Hale, who ran a grocery wholesale business, told the jury at Kingston Crown Court his note referred to the possibility of Mrs Hale, a mother-of-five, moving out of their home.

'Drinking heavily'

Questioning the defendant, prosecutor Crispin Aylett QC said: "'Maureen goes for good', were you thinking of killing Maureen back in 1998, Mr Hale?"

Mr Hale replied: "No, I had a few dark thoughts at one point.

"It was around that time, I'd say August or September 1998, I was quite low, quite depressed after I spoke to the solicitor."

Asked whether those dark thoughts involved killing his wife, Mr Hale replied: "At one point, when I was very depressed, yes.

"The note was written at that time, while I was depressed and down, drinking heavily, living away from home, my mind was bouncing off different things."

He added: "It was the whole scenario, I wasn't thinking straight."

Mr Hale told the jury he reported his wife missing three days after she vanished without trace because he thought she was with a friend.

Print Sponsor

Businessman denies killing wife
09 Feb 09 |  London
Man charged with murdering wife
18 Jun 08 |  England

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2020 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific