A THOMSON air stewardess who knifed her husband in the back, after she was said to have repeatedly subjected him to violence, has walked free from court.
Mother-of-two and grandmother Karen Horrocks (48) left victim Michael Horrocks, her husband of 26 years, pumping with blood after she attacked him with a kitchen knife with a 12in. blade at their home, Burnley Crown Court heard.
Horrocks, who was suspended after the incident, is currently working at Thomson’s head office in Newcastle and is not flying. Last December, she tried to kill herself, spent several weeks in hospital and has received support from the community psychiatric team.
The hearing was told Mr Horrocks, who had known his wife for 30 years and still loved her, would say she could be a loving, attentive and charming wife, but on the other hand could be devious, particularly over money, violent, volatile and destructive.
The defendant, formerly of Hayhurst Street, Clitheroe, and now of Newlands Drive, Acomb, York, admitted wounding. She was given 52 weeks in prison, suspended for a year, with 12 months supervision and must comply with the community mental health team. She had no previous convictions.
Mr Nick Courtney (prosecuting) said Mr Horrocks would say the defendant’s spending caused problems in their relationship. There had been incidents of violent or destructive behaviour on her part and they had split up several times over the years.
Mr Courtney said, last August, the relationship deteriorated. Mr Horrocks was working away in the North East, the defendant was working most weekends and admitted she was having an affair. They were out of contact for over a week, but by the weekend of September 25th, were back together and at home.
Mr Horrocks was checking a bank statement, discovered an unexpected bill and when he raised it with the defendant she became hostile and said she wanted a divorce. The next day Mr Horrocks spoke to their daughter on the phone and mentioned he wanted her help. The defendant overheard, was angry, but there was then a relatively rational conversation about the defendant leaving. It wasn’t long before Horrocks became aggressive and violent. She hit her husband on the calf, which she knew he had recently injured, the head and groin.
Around noon, Mr Horrocks suggested the defendant had only come back home as the other man wasn’t available. The defendant then grabbed one of the large kitchen knives out of a block and stepped towards the victim with it raised above her head. He turned his right shoulder towards her and raised his arms to protect himself. Horrocks brought the knife down, stabbing the upper left side of her husband’s back.
Mr Courtney said Mr Horrocks felt immediate pain, but his wife said it was only a scratch. The wound was pumping blood and he went to the bathroom to wash it away. The defendant was at the door, shouting to be let in and that she was sorry. He suffered a 2cm. cut to his back and a 1cm. cut to his left index finger.
After leaving hospital, the defendant went to a friend’s and gave a false account of what happened, claiming she had been provoked. She was arrested and alleged Mr Horrocks had come at her, a lie she repeated in interview.
Katherine Pierpoint, for Horrocks, said it was surprising to find a woman like the defendant before the courts for such a serious matter.
Her relationship with her husband had been “extremely turbulent” and emotions were running high. She was sorry for what happened and realised they should no longer be together.
Miss Pierpoint said: “As a result of this, she has now lost everything she had.” The suicide attempt last December had been serious and she was released from hospital in January. She was no longer on medication and was back at Thomson.
There’s more on this court case in today’s Clitheroe Advertiser & Times