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Last Updated: Tuesday, 29 January 2008, 14:30 GMT
Wife guilty of anti-freeze plot
Kate Knight
Kate Knight had denied trying to kill her husband
A woman has been found guilty of trying to kill her husband by slipping anti-freeze into his wine and curry.

A jury at Stafford Crown Court found Kate Knight, 28, guilty of the attempted murder of husband Lee at their home in Stoke-on-Trent in 2005.

Mr Knight, a 37-year-old factory worker, suffered kidney failure and brain damage after being poisoned.

After the hearing, he said his wife's actions had ruined his life. Sentencing was adjourned until a later date.

Mr Knight now has brain damage, is blind, partially deaf and needs 24-hour care.

Over the three-week trial the jury heard how Knight plotted to poison her husband, who worked for JCB, in order to collect a 130,000 pay-out from his employer and clear debts.

Mr Knight, who lives with his parents and the couple's nine-year-old son Jack, said: "Kate has ruined my life."

Lee Knight
Her cowardly crime almost caused the death of Lee Knight whose blindness is a life sentence in itself...
Det Con Martin Smith

In a statement, he said: "It has been very stressful. I realised that my wife had left me. I lost my job, my house, everything I worked for and, worst of all, my son.

"I have hardly any independence anymore - I need to have somebody with me all the time. I don't think I'll ever be able to work again."

He added that what his wife had done would have a big effect on their son's future.

During the trial Mr Knight gave evidence, supported in court by two hearing specialists. He wears two hearing aids after regaining some level of hearing following a recent operation.

On the night of the couple's seventh wedding anniversary, Knight cooked her husband a curry and served him red wine - both of which had been laced with ethylene glycol, the chemical name for anti-freeze.

The jury also heard over the course of the trial how Knight, originally from the Wirral, had used internet search engines to find a method of killing, settling on anti-freeze after ruling out ecstasy or an iron overdose.

Knight's neighbour Sarah Johnson, 28, told the court how the accused had mentioned paying 50,000 to hire a hitman.

'Cold and calculated'

Under cross examination, Knight blamed her husband's health problems on drinking too much alcohol.

Outside the court, Det Con Martin Smith, of Staffordshire Police, said: "This highly unusual case posed a number of investigative challenges. Despite the weight of evidence against her, Kate Knight refused to co-operate throughout.

"Her cowardly crime almost caused the death of Lee Knight whose blindness is a life sentence in itself - he will never be able to properly see his young son again.

"Lee, with the support of his family, is piecing his life back together. I hope today's outcome will help them on their road to recovery."

Crown Prosecution Service spokeswoman Katy Halls said the attack on Mr Knight had been "cold and calculated".

Ms Halls said: "Knight had every intention to kill her husband by poisoning him with the toxic substance.

"Evidence was gathered from her computer showing that she had researched the effects of different substances ensuring she used the most lethal."

VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Kate Knight's plan to kill her husband



SEE ALSO
Woman's plot to kill husband
29 Jan 08 |  England
Anti-freeze case jury sent home
25 Jan 08 |  Staffordshire
Wife denies 'poisoning' husband
21 Jan 08 |  Staffordshire
'Poisoned' husband gives evidence
17 Jan 08 |  Staffordshire
'Regret' over alleged poison plot
10 Jan 08 |  Staffordshire
Husband 'poisoned by anti-freeze'
07 Jan 08 |  Staffordshire

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