Jury consider verdict in case of Langham man on trial at Leicester Crown Court for attempted murder of Oakham woman
A jury is considering its verdict in the trial of a man who is accused of attempting to murder an Oakham woman.
Following an incident in Bullfinch Close, Oakham on January 21 last year, Robert Truscott of Lowther Close, Langham was charged with attempted murder, grievous bodily harm and possession of a knife.
A trial began on Tuesday last week (January 4) at Leicester Crown Court after Truscott pleaded not guilty to attempted murder and two counts of wounding with intent. He has admitted having an offensive weapon and unlawful wounding.
The jury heard that while drunk, Truscott, 48, went to the home of Emma Wolfenden and stabbed her 10 times.
It was also alleged that he caused injury to a 26-year-old man, who Miss Wolfenden had met for the first time that night after connecting on the dating website Tinder.
Today (January 12) the 12 jury members retired to their room to consider their verdict. Having not come to a decision by the end of the day, having spent about three hours considering, they will continue their discussions tomorrow before delivering their verdict to court.
All evidence in the trial has been put in front of the jury with the prosecution and defence both giving their closing statements yesterday (January 11).
Throughout the trial, Truscott has said he can’t remember stabbing Miss Wolfenden and answered ‘I don’t know’ to many of the questions put to him.
Prosecuting Andrew Peet said: “His evidence was that he couldn’t remember what had happened. We will have to resolve whether or not that’s true, we will have to resolve if this defendant only remembers everything up to the moment he stabbed her or whether the truth is that he can’t bring himself to tell you about it because he knows telling you would mean admitting it.”
He reminded the jury how in cross examination, Truscott said he knew that one stab attempt towards someone’s heart would cause serious harm.
“He was going nuts, he completely lost the plot hadn’t he? He was in a rage bursting into the house,” said Mr Peet, describing Truscott as “infatuated” with Miss Wolfenden.
He went on to urge the jury not to give the defendant an ‘unwarranted benefit of the doubt’ because Truscott has learning difficulties, which means he struggles to read and write.
Mr Peet said that WhatsApp messages showed there was a pattern that Truscott was “dependent” on Miss Wolfenden.
Mr Peet said: “He’s immature as far as relationships go, he’s desperate. Just as she was dependent on him for alcohol he was dependent on her to give him what he thought was a meaningful relationship with a lady.
“It builds a picture that he was the one doing all the chasing, when she didn’t want alcohol she could take it or leave it. It must have been frustrating for him.”
Mr Peet added: “She was in no fit state to defend herself from anyone, let alone a big guy like him wielding a knife that’s almost a foot long, with no-one to help her because obviously he waited until [the other man] left to start attacking Emma.”
Truscott’s barrister, Jonathan Dunne, acknowledged how ‘awful’ the incident was, adding that he’s not making apologies for Truscott but providing a defence, which everyone is entitled to.
He noted Truscott’s learning difficulties and how he would do anything Miss Wolfenden would ask for.
Mr Dunne said she relied on him for alcohol after leaving a rehabilitation facility.
He added that throughout the trial, particularly when Truscott was in the witness stand, the jury has been able to see how he was able to function and noted this meant Truscott also answered questions differently depending on who asked them.
His Honour Judge Head, summing up, said that in October 2020, Miss Wolfenden wrote a letter to the defendant, who she had known for four years, in an attempt to end their friendship, which was based on alcohol provision, after coming out of rehabilitation.
But they remained in contact.
A statement made in April last year was read out from Miss Wolfenden’s sister, Laura, who had previously been in a relationship with Truscott and has known him for more than 20 years.
She said Truscott wanted to be in a relationship with Emma but she had said no and described him as “obsessed with Emma”.
“He always wanted to be in control and when he wasn’t, he would lose his temper,” she added.
A statement from Miss Wolfenden read out in court heard she stayed friends with Truscott after he broke up with her sister.
“We were never in a relationship, we were never boyfriend and girlfriend. We were just friends but I did have sex with him on a couple of occasions,” she said.
Leading up to the incident, Truscott began sending more frequent messages and calling her number, which Miss Wolfenden began to ignore, until she told the defendant on January 21 that she was meeting someone else.
He replied he was ‘not interested’ but called her 21 times in the hours leading up to the incident and made a further five attempts in a space of two minutes shortly before.
The pair also had a 12 minute phone call which Miss Wolfenden answered.
The defendant admitted he was ‘tipsy’, but denied having had ‘half a bottle of whisky’ as he had told Miss Wolfenden in a message.
Later on in the evening of January 21 Miss Wolfenden’s Tinder date spoke on her to Truscott phone after being told by the victim that he was her ‘stalker’. The man told Truscott ‘she’s not interested’ but Truscott didn’t respond.
Truscott then cycled from his home in Langham to Bullfinch Close in Oakham carrying the knife with him in his coat pocket.
He told the court he took the knife with him out of ‘stupidity just to scare them’.
It was heard that when he got there, Truscott held the knife to the man’s neck and when he tried to grab the knife, the man’s hand was injured.
A fight took place between Truscott and the other man, who eventually hit Truscott over the head with a bottle of rum, while Miss Wolfenden called 999.
After the fight, Truscott gave the man a towel to stop his hand bleeding.
He then went back to the kitchen and held Miss Wolfenden with a sharp weapon against her neck.
Believing that he was causing the aggravation, the man snorted a line of cocaine, before leaving Miss Wolfenden, who had also been drinking, and Truscott in the house alone as he believed he was “making it worse”.
Mr Dunne suggested the man started the fight.
Truscott then used a kitchen knife to stab Miss Wolfenden, before calling the emergency services to get the victim medical attention.
He can be heard telling the call handler, 'I actually done it...I stabbed her', estimating that it was 'two to five minutes ago'.
The call handler then instructed Truscott to give Miss Wolfenden medical attention to help with the bleeding.
Truscott fetched a towel and applied pressure to the open wound on Miss Wolfenden's neck which was heavily bleeding.
Truscott also told the call handler that 'there's another person involved but he's gone on a moped'.
In statements from the police officers who attended the incident, it was noted that Truscott was saying he was sorry to Miss Wolfenden while she lay injured.
He was also described as looking 'shocked' and his eyes were 'glazed', as he didn't 'speak or move' when the emergency services descended on the property.
Miss Wolfenden was taken to Nottingham’s Queen’s Medical Centre for treatment, where doctors found 10 stab wounds including in her neck and abdomen.
Miss Wolfenden was left in hospital for three months as a result of her injuries. She died in June due to unrelated circumstances, aged 37.
The trial continues.