90-year-old man stabbed sick wife in bed after 'running out of patience', Old Bailey told

·3-min read

A 90-year-old man tried to kill his sick wife while she was asleep in bed after he "ran out of patience" with caring for her, a court has been told.

Edward Turpin allegedly attempted to stab Joan Turpin, also 90, at their home in September last year.

He denies attempted murder and an alternative charge of wounding with intent.

Ms Turpin had lost her eyesight and needed a catheter, so was dependent on her husband's help, the Old Bailey heard on Wednesday.

Turpin felt he could "no longer cope" and, at around 1.30am, attacked his wife in Orpington, Kent, before turning the knife on himself, jurors were told.

Wearing a pair of headphones, Turpin sat in the well of the court on the first day of his trial, to "hopefully hear the evidence more clearly", Judge Alexia Durran said.

In a 999 call made soon after the alleged stabbing, he is said to have told an operator: "I can't take any more of it... She's been ill, and it's got right on top of me.

"I tried to stab her, and I've stabbed myself."

When the operator told Turpin how to stop the bleeding, he allegedly replied: "No, I don't want to stop the bleeding. We want to die."

A "back-and-forth" conversation between Turpin and the call handler then took place, in which he may have attempted to imply he and his wife were carrying out a "suicide pact", prosecutor Alistair Richardson said.

"You may think the defendant was attempting to give the impression that he and his wife were participating in a suicide pact. As you will hear, that is a suggestion that Joan Turpin robustly rejects," he said.

Read more on Sky News:
Cameras allowed in courts for the first time

Man jailed after stabbing partner 29 times and leaving her with knife embedded in her chest

'All she's done is got on my nerves'

He went on to claim that Turpin "hung up" and answered "angrily" when the operator called him back.

Mr Richardson said: "He went on to explain that 'she's been ill, she's come home, all she's done is got on my nerves... I've just burst. I've just gone'.

"Shortly afterwards, the operator called back and they spoke again. Once again, the defendant says 'I don't want nothing done now. I want to die. She wants to die'.

"Throughout the call, in the background, you can hear Joan Turpin crying out for help."

In an audio recording of the call, a voice could be heard saying "Joan, stop it" and telling the operator he had tried to "stab myself to take myself out of it".

Mr Richardson told the court the couple had been happily married for years but Turpin "could no longer cope" and "instead of seeking help, his patience gone, he sought to kill her".

Jurors were told neither society nor the law should permit people to "take matters into our own hands".

The trial continues.