Man kills wife over 'small willy' jibe after finding out she had lesbian affair with best friend's daughter
David Clark, 49, plunged a knife into the chest of wife Melanie, 44, in a drunken rage after she asked him to leave their marital home
An estate agent who brutally stabbed his wife to death after she taunted him for having a small penis has been jailed for life. David Clark, 49, plunged a knife into the chest of wife Melanie, 44, in a Prosecco-fuelled drunken rage after she asked him to leave their marital home. The former military medic launched his frenzied attack as the couple argued about Melanie having a lesbian affair with his best friend's daughter just two days before.
A court heard Melanie had confessed to having sex with pal Katie Bastians, an Australian journalist, in their marital bed while Clark was asleep in the next room. She had also repeatedly taunted him about having a "small dick" which Clark said made him feel "inadequate" and "like less of a man".
Clark, who was described as "controlling and bullying" towards his wife and her children, stabbed his wife with a cooking knife "to teach her the ultimate lesson". The pair had earlier enjoyed a night celebrating New Year's Eve at a friends house where they played a drinking game version of snakes and ladders, which involved downing shots of whiskey. But once they returned home, they began arguing about Melanie's lesbian encounter after she started bragging about "seeing Katie in her sexy underwear".
Clark texted Katie's businessman dad Stephen Bastians, 58, in "spite and revenge" to expose the details of their tryst. He then knifed his wife of ten years in the chest in their marital bedroom when she failed to rise to "evil" taunts after becoming "uncontrollably" angry. He dialled 999 confessing: "My wife started being s*** again. I can't believe I f*****g did it. She f*****g did my head in."
Police rushed to the property and South-African born Melanie, who had four children from a previous relationship, was pronounced dead 12 minutes into the New Year. Just minutes later her two sons Sheldon, 22, and Slade, 19, returned home from a party to find police swarming over their home. Clark was arrested in blood-soaked pajamas on his birthday at the three-bedroom, £200,000 semi-detached home in Cloverdale, Bromsgrove, Worcs.
Clark went on trial at Birmingham Crown Court charged with murdering his wife-of-ten years, which he denied. He was found guilty by a jury of four women and seven men last month and was today (Thurs) jailed for life to serve a minimum of 15 years. Sentencing, Judge Stephen Morris said: "Melanie was a healthy woman in the prime of her life. She was subjected to a brutal attack which came without warning. She leaves behind four children - each will suffer from the loss of their mother. Melanie had arranged for the two of them to spend the early part of New Year's Eve round at the house of their friends, Nadia Lacey and Philip Ireson. They arrived back home at around 10.44pm and we both intoxicated.
"Over the next hour an ever increasingly vitriolic argument developed between the two of them. The argument was conducted both by a series of WhatsApp messages which they sent each other while in the house and verbally.
Just before 11pm, David attempted to send a message to Stephen Bastions telling him that his daughter Katie had a sexual encounter with Melanie. He forwarded a copy to Melanie. At 11.23pm, Melanie sent David a message telling him that she wanted him out of the house by the 10am the following morning.
"At 11.43pm Melanie sent David a further message saying 'They laughing at you David, have been for the last 10 years.' She told him again she wanted him out. David could not handle the rejection and in the course of two minutes he picked up one of the kitchen knives which he had in the small bedroom. He walked into the main bedroom and stabbed her once with severe force through the chest. She offered no resistance and she had not been violent towards him. David immediately called 999 - he told the operator he had just killed his wife.
"The police arrived at three minutes past midnight- they found David at the side of the house in pajamas with blood on his hand and clothing. David asked one of the officers to kill him and another went upstairs and found Melanie was already dead."
The court heard the couple had been married for ten years but had a turbulent relationship and both engaged in extramarital affairs.
On one occasion South African-born British citizen Clark was even made to sign a contract giving Melanie permission to sleep with other people.
Prosecutor Benjamin Aina QC read out a victim impact statement from one of Melanie's sons Sheldon Heppell. The statement read: "This crime has had a huge impact on my life and has affected me in a number of ways. To lose a parent is a massive ordeal in itself. To lose a parent through such a horrific crime is even worse and for that crime to be committed by someone close to you is very difficult to comprehend. My brother and I are very shy and quiet and tend to keep ourselves to ourselves.
"We were like that as a family at home too and so we were with our mother a lot and rely on her. We were very close and had a very loving relationship. This has taken a huge toll on me personally...this has been a very strange experience to handle, not to mention stressful. My brother and I have had to take out a loan in order to secure the flat which we found to live in, which we are currently paying off. Neither of us had nor have any savings, so everything is a real struggle financially.
"Sometimes we live on the bare minimum of food and don't eat. When the sadness of my loss hits me, I can't talk anymore. I can't talk and I don't want to. I can't see any sort of future. I can't see any way out and sometimes I just wish I wasn't alive."
Alisdair Williamson, defending, said: "Mr Clark has always accepted causing the death of his wife. This was an offence committed without any pre-meditation. The knife was also not part of any pre-meditation but it was just the closest object to him."
Detective Chief Inspector Neil Jamieson, from West Mercia Police, said after the case: "This was a tragic, senseless crime which has devastated Melanie's family and has left her children to grow up without a mother.
"I am thankful that justice has been served and I sincerely hope today's sentencing will provide a small sense of closure for Melanie's family, who have been left to face the full repercussions of Clark's actions in the most painful way. My thoughts remain with them as they continue to rebuild their lives, and I would continue to ask that their privacy is respected at this difficult time. I would like to thank all of the officers and staff involved within this investigation, who have worked tirelessly to ensure that David Clark was brought before the courts and will now face justice for his actions."
Jason Corden-Bowen, of the Crown Prosecution Service, added: “David Clark is violent and abusive man who would not accept the fact that his wife had called time on their relationship.
“Although he was described as controlling and manipulative he sought to blame his victim for his actions. He claimed Melanie provoked him into the loss of control which led to her death, however, this was never the case. It was Clark’s refusal to accept that his marriage had ended that led to him losing his temper and stabbing his wife to death in their former marital bedroom and the jury clearly disregarded his spurious account. Although we accept that little will adequately address their loss our thoughts are today with the family and friends of Melanie Clark.”
Author: Arun Lal
© South West News Service