Murder due to ‘overwhelming rage’

Published: Monday 13th October 2014 by The News Editor

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A businessman who appeared in a BBC TV reality show stabbed his estranged partner to death when he was “struck by an overwhelming rage”, a jury has been told.

John Butler killed Pauline Butler with a kitchen knife at the flat she had moved into in Leeds, the city’s crown court heard.

Prosecutors said Butler went home after the “sustained attack” where he opened a beer and smoked a cigar.

The jury of nine women and three men trying Butler for murder was told that the defendant and his family had appeared in a 2012 episode of the The Fixer, featuring Alex Polizzi.

They were each asked before they were sworn-in if they had watched the programme, about one of Butler’s businesses – Kettley’s Furniture, in Yeadon, Leeds – and whether they remembered it but none indicated that they had.

The judge, Mr Justice Eadis, ordered the jury not to try and find the programme to watch on the internet.

Opening the case for the prosecution, Michelle Colborne QC said Butler and his partner had been together for 30 years but had drifted apart after their three sons had grown-up and left home.

She said Mrs Butler, who changed her name despite never marrying the defendant, went to live in a flat in Cherry Lea Court, Rawdon, Leeds, while her husband remained at the family home at Larkfield Road, Rawdon.

On April 14 this year Butler went round to the flat and stabbed his estranged partner.

Miss Colborne said: “Whilst at her flat, he lost his temper – old fashioned, good and simple.

“He picked up a knife and he stabbed and killed her in what the prosecution say was a sustained attack.”

The prosecutor went on: “The defendant contends that he had no such intention but was reacting to an unfolding and heated situation during which he lost his self control.”

Miss Colborne said Butler washed the knife after the attack and left the flat, taking his partner’s dog.

She said he arrived back at his house and told one of his sons, Richard: “You need to call the police. I think I’ve killed your mother.”

The prosecutor said Richard raced round to the flat and was joined by his brother, David, who kicked-in the door and found their mother’s body.

Miss Colborne said: “The defendant remained at Larkfield Road and opened a beer and had a cigar.”

She said Butler later told police: “He was struck by an overwhelming rage”.

She said he told the interviewing officers Mrs Butler had been screaming and swearing at him.

Butler, who sat in the dock wearing a dark suit, white shirt and light blue tie, denies murder.

The trial, which is expected to last until next week, continues.

Published: Monday 13th October 2014 by The News Editor

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