An enthusiastic horsewoman stabbed her husband in the back in a “fit of temper” after years of “arguments”, a court heard yesterday.
Christine Rawle, 70, attacked “defenseless” Ian Rawle, 72, after a row at their secluded bungalow in north Devon.
Rawle then followed his wife into a field with the knife still stuck in his back, “begging her to take it out” before collapsing, jurors at Exeter Crown Court were told.
Rawle, who claims to have acted after suffering for years at the hands of her “disgusting and intimidating” husband, is said to have pulled out the knife and kicked him under a stable door.
Yesterday she appeared in the dock with her hair up and dressed in a gray sweater, black pants and jacket, having pleaded not guilty to the charge of murder.
The mother-of-three, who describes herself on social media as a “registered horse trainer” and is known as “the horse whisperer”, will argue she was the victim of a controlling and coercive relationship.
Horse whisperer hypnotist allegedly stabbed her husband after a dispute over money, jurors were told
Police officers at the scene at his isolated home in Kittywell Wood in Knowle, North Devon, on August 24, 2022.
Prosecutor Sean Brunton KC, opening the case, said the couple had a “somewhat dysfunctional relationship” but it was “as clear a case of murder as you are likely to find”.
He said Rawle was arguing with her husband when she grabbed a “large, sharp knife.”
‘And in a fit of temper, she stabbed him in the back without warning as he walked away and left the knife stuck in his back as she walked away with her husband following her and imploring her to remove the knife from her back. ‘ he said.
“He followed her 100 meters across her field in North Devon and then she collapsed to the ground and died a short time later from the wound inflicted by that stab wound.”
Brunton said he then pulled out the knife and “at some point kicked it under the stable door” before sitting down and waiting for police and ambulance to arrive after his daughter called emergency services.
Brunton said Rawle can be a “complex, troubled and somewhat devious woman” but said she stabbed “this unarmed and unsuspecting 72-year-old man” at his home in Kittywell Wood, Knowle, North Devon, in August 2022.
He said they had been married for 29 years, adding that some marriages are far from happy and Rawle’s defense will be that she was the victim of a controlling and coercive relationship.
Exeter Crown Court also heard that Rawle had stabbed her husband on two other occasions before she killed him.
That same day, Rawle (pictured with a horse) is said to have called her daughter and told her that her mother was “disheartened” and was talking about divorcing her husband.
Police officers at the scene in Devon on the day Mr Rawley was found dead.
She asked if “her husband was so unpleasant, so intimidating and so abusive to her that somehow she was forced to act as she did and justify such an act against a defenseless husband.”
But he said she could have left instead of stabbing him in the back and gone to live with her many friends or family.
He said the Rawles argued, got upset and were mean and cruel to each other, but Mr Brunton said: “If anyone was the bully, it was this woman.”
He said it was Christine Rawle who was manipulating and making demands, not the other way around.
The Rawley home, photographed on the day of the stabbing on August 24, 2022.
Police officers at the couple’s home on August 28, 2022 after Rawley was allegedly stabbed.
Brunton said both Rawles had been married before and that Mrs Rawle had three children from her first marriage.
Ian Rawle’s former wife and another long-term partner said there was nothing strange, unpleasant or intimidating about him or his behavior towards them, the jury heard Mr Brunton say: “On the contrary, he was a very well-mannered person. gentle, thoughtful, hard-working and decent man.
“He was not a saint, far from it, he had his flaws, but he was a simple man.”
Mr Rawle owned the shop and garage in the nearby village of Braunton until he sold them a decade ago.
The trial continues.