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30 July 2011, 19:48
A solicitor accused of stabbing his wife to death has been unanimously convicted of murder.
Richard Davies Jones, 34, killed wife Laura when she tried to leave their troubled marriage.
The former Army officer, who had cheated on her with another woman, looked impassive as he heard the verdict at Guildford Crown Court.
He was found on top of his wife in a pool of blood outside their home in Woodfield Lane, Lower Ashtead, Surrey on December 1 last year having been stabbed as well.
Today, as a victim impact statement was read four female jurors broke down.
Judge Christopher Critchlow halted the reading of the statement so all 12 jurors could leave the court.
The couple married in 2004 but their relationship was strained by Davies Jones's affair with a colleague and his social worker wife's history of self harm.
Police were called to their home several times to reports of domestic violence from both parties.
On the day of her death, Davies Jones telephoned the emergency services but cannot remember details between trying to leave the house after arguing and being found in a pool of blood in the snow.
He said his wife attacked him with a kitchen knife, plunging it into his neck, before repeatedly stabbing herself in the neck.
But the jury did not believe him and convicted after several hours' deliberation.
The victim's father, Michael Dakin, told the court through the impact statement: ``Never again will I see her beautiful face, her smile and never again will I hear her laughter.
``I can never hold my daughter, she has been taken from me.
``The sunshine has gone and only my memories remain.
``Laura did not deserve to die. My daughter should not have been taken from me.
``I do not hate but I cannot forgive.''
One of the victim's five children - who cannot be identified, wrote: ``Because of what happened, I am scared that he will come and get me, the same as he did my mum.''
Mrs Davies Jones's sister Rachel Grunnill said: ``Laura was generous, thoughtful and filled every moment in my family's life.
``Without Laura there is a big hole, a quietness that stuns, like when I stare at my phone and will it to ring at my busiest times.''
Her mother Celia Dakin said she was haunted by something her daughter said before her death.
``I cannot forget what she said a few days before when she left my house, 'I'm afraid he is going to kill me.'''
Mrs Dakin paid tribute to her daughter and added: ``Every time I try to sleep I get pictures in my head of the horror and pain that Laura must have endured.
``Her fear is a constant thought in my mind...I have spent nearly all of Laura's life by her side and it grieves me that I was unable to help her when she needed me most.''
Senior Investigating Officer Detective Inspector Juliet Parker said: “All the facts of this very sad case were put before the jury and they decided that Mr Davies Jones was guilty of murder. Our sympathies are with the family, for whom this has been an extremely difficult time.”
Statement from family: “This has been a very difficult eight months since the loss of our daughter. We are grateful that justice has been done and that there has been a guilty verdict. Of course, this does not bring our daughter Laura back and we would be grateful if our privacy was now respected so that we as a family can come to terms with our loss.”