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Wednesday, 24 September 2014

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Cumbrian gran denies stabbing husband in buttocks in christening row

A man told a court how his estranged partner stabbed him in the buttock with a kitchen knife when he refused to help her prepare the food for their granddaughter’s christening party.

Gary Woodward said 52-year-old Caroline Kate Hodder was so annoyed she injured him deliberately in their two-bedroom bungalow.

But Hodder, who has denied a charge of causing actual bodily harm, said Woodward was “three parts to the wind” on drink when he accidentally backed into the knife while she was cutting up onions for the next day’s sandwiches, quiches and pizzas.

A jury at Carlisle Crown Court heard that the couple had been together for 24 years before splitting up acrimoniously in August 2010.

At the time of the incident in March last year they still jointly owned the bungalow, in Midland Hill, Kirkby Stephen, which had a separate ensuite room which Mr Woodward used when he was not working away.

On the evening before the christening Hodder was preparing the food when Mr Woodward arrived from Birmingham, where he had been working. Because he was tired, and would be running the disco at the christening the next day, he went to bed at about 7.30pm, refusing all his ex girlfriend’s requests to help with the food.

He told the jury that Hodder was so angry and abusive he eventually decided to leave the house because things were getting “too heated”.

He said: “She just went absolutely loopy and came charging at me, hitting me nine or 10 times.”

As he fended her off with his arms, he said, he felt a sharp pain and noticed blood trickling down his leg.

Mr Woodward denied a suggestion from David Comb, defending, that he was making the incident sound worse than it was.

“There is no doubt that you did get a poke in the bottom that night, but I suggest that you are greatly exaggerating the circumstances,” Mr Comb said. “No,” he replied.

The court heard that when interviewed by the police Hodder admitted she no longer liked Mr Woodward.

“We don’t get on and that’s it,” she said. “We wind each other up, there are no two ways about it.”

She said there had been “a massive argument” over Mr Woodward’s refusal to help with the food, with him “yelling and bawling” at her.

She said she was chopping onions when he backed onto the knife in her hand, but she insisted the resulting wound was “nothing” and not as bad as he claimed.

Asked by the police if she had deliberately stabbed him, she replied: “I don’t like him but I don’t hate him.”

She said he might have made up his allegation in revenge because she had tipped off the authorities that he was claiming unemployment benefits when he was in fact working.

The trial continues.

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