Jury to deliver verdict in Parsons trial

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Jurors are tomorrow, Thursday, expected to deliver their verdict in the trial of a Banbury footballer charged with the murder of his estranged wife.

Andrew Parsons, 38, an Easington Sports player, has denied murdering his American-born beautician wife Janee, 31, at their home in Lucerne Avenue in Bicester on December 1 last year.

During the trial, Oxford Crown Court heard how the couple had slept in separate rooms after Mrs Parsons told her husband she wanted a divorce. She had also made plans to start a new life with another man.

Today (Wednesday) both the prosecution and the defence delivered their final speeches before Judge Patrick Eccles summed up the evidence ahead of the jury retiring to consider its verdict on either a murder charge or a lesser manslaughter charge.

Earlier this week jurors heard testimony from Parsons, who described how he ‘lost control’ after his wife attacked him with a knife being used to unpack boxes of Christmas decorations and cut his hand.

A recording device planted under Mrs Parsons’ bed by her husband picked up details of the struggle and Mrs Parsons could be heard pleading and praying after she had been stabbed more than a dozen times with a large kitchen knife.

In his speech, David Hislop, defending, said: “We suggest that Mr Parsons’ emotions at the time were such that he was no longer the master of his own mind. And if that is right you can more readily understand that he should not be convicted of murder. This was a frenzied attack, involving a dozen or so stab wounds - some so severe part of the knife broke. This was a loss of control by a man who was genuinely the most quiet and gentle of men and who did not have an aggressive bone in his body.”

Mr Hislop added this was an attack on the woman he absolutely adored and if he had been the master of his own mind he would never had done what he did.

Miranda Moore QC, prosecuting, said Parsons had come up with new explanations to fit with the emerging evidence and, referring to pictures of the scene, said there were no boxes of Christmas decorations on the landing and that they were in fact downstairs.

“Murder can occur in a moment and often does and regret for these actions often follows. But this does not mean you did not do it in the first place. You are trying this for murder. Janee Parsons is not on trial here. This is not a court of morals, this is a court of law. The defendant may have believed that she deserved what she got - he said as much on the tape. But that is not a defence, it can never be,” she said and concluded: “The big question is going to be, ‘who had the knife first?’ If you can answer that question you will have the solution to this case.”

Reviewing the evidence, Mr Eccles said: “It would not be human if you were not moved by Janee Parsons’ pitiful pleas and moans as her life ebbed away, but the time has come to put emotions out of what you’ve heard... you now must be objective, careful and analytical.”

See www.banburyguardian.co.uk for the verdict as soon as it is received.