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‘Horse whisperer’ is jailed for 17 years after murdering her husband by stabbing him in the back in ‘fit of rage’

A “HORSE whisperer” has been jailed for 17 years for stabbing her husband in the back at their home.

Christine Rawle, 69, “killed “violently thrust” the 12.5ins blade into Ian Rawle, 72, at the property in Braunton on August 21, 2022, but claimed self-defence.

PAIan Rawle, pictured, was stabbed in the back by his wife Christine[/caption]

PAChristine Rawle has been found guilty of murdering her husband[/caption]

PAChristine Rawle being interviewed by police[/caption]

Exeter Crown Court heard Mr Rawle then followed his wife of 29 years for a hundred yards telling her to remove the knife, before collapsing and dying from the wound.

Rawle has now been jailed for life with a minimum of 17 years after being convicted of murder.

Judge James Adkin said: “You said to the police that you were frightened of your husband. But he was a 72-year-old man with a knife in his back.

“He wanted you to help him. But it seems to me you refused to do so.”

Prosecutors claimed the case was “as clear a case of murder as you are likely to find”, and said Rawle attacked her husband in a “fit of temper” during an argument about land at their £800,000 home.

During the month-long trial the court heard Rawle and her husband had a dysfunctional marriage and likened them to the Roald Dahl characters The Twits.

Rawle did not give evidence during the trial but her legal team insisted she was acting in self-defence following years of physical and psychological abuse from her husband.

‘BOTH PHYSICAL’

Rawle’s youngest son Thomas admitted they were “both physical” engaging in “unpleasant tit for tat” and that they know how to “press each other’s buttons”.

Prosecutor Sean Brunton KC told the jury Rawle stabbed him in the back without warning as he pushed a wheelbarrow full of horse manure to a dung heap.

I have just killed my husband, I just snapped

Christine Rawle to police

After sorting out her beloved dogs, she pulled out the knife and kicked it under a stable door – and waited for 999 crews to arrive as Ian bled to death.

She told police at the scene: “I have just killed my husband, I just snapped.”

Rawle wept saying: “I took his life because he was horrible to me. He terrorised. It was continuous. I wanted out.”

She had called her daughter Chiez to say she had stabbed him – and Chiez, who lives in Milton Keynes, Bucks, alerted the emergency services.

Mr Brunton said the Rawles seemed to thrive on bickering and winding up each other and were petty and unkind but he said: “If anyone was the bully it was this woman.

“He did not torture, enslave or bully her. This defendant was far from being a defenceless or timid woman.”

I hope the c**t dies

Ian Rawle’s text message to his daugher about his wife

Rawle stabbed him on two previous occasions before she killed him – once with a fork and once with a knife which left him with wounds to his chest and arm.

“Despondent” Rawle had contacted her daughter earlier on the day of the fatal stabbing to say she wanted a divorce and that they rowing over selling some land – and Rawle sent her a message saying: “I hope the c**t dies.”

Rawle claimed that Ian, a champion rally driver and a pilot, was “violent, sexually abusive, financially controlling’ and a ‘narcissist who made her life a misery”.

And she told police many times that she feared Ian was going to shoot her saying: “He would have killed me. I loved him so much. He has been so cruel.”

Ian and Christine Rawle had both been wed before – her three children were from her first marriage.

Ian had an affair with another woman Margaret Melville ending his first marriage – but Ian Rawle then cheated on her with Christine after she bought a car from the garage that he ran.

POLICE PREVIOUSLY INVOLVED

The court was told that over 30 years – even before they married – police were involved in more than a dozen incidents of domestic abuse, criminal damage and theft between the Rawles.

She filled his car up with water after putting a hosepipe through the sunroof, slipped Viagra in his tea, chilli powder in his underwear and called him ‘D**k’ and ‘d**khead’.

He hit her with a shovel, damaged her car, took her keys, put sugar in the fuel tank, pushed her through a bay window, kicked her with steel toe cap boots, and called her ‘Fat, Fatso and fat pig’.

Her youngest son Thomas, who called stepfather Ian ‘dad’, claimed he hit his mum with a riding crop ‘splitting her face open’.

He said Ian was violent towards him and ransacked the kitchen if a meal was not what he wanted’.

Thomas said Ian was “very aggressive towards his mum” and would “scream, shout, salivate, spit and be red in the face” at his mother and himself.

He said he was “bossy, overpowering, belittling and liked to be in control”.

The court heard she accused her husband of sexual abuse – but then said he was impotent and slept in different bedrooms for many years after he had another affair.

BOTH DRANK TO EXCESS

They both drank to excess and Rawle later made secret recordings of rows with her husband – which were shown to the jury – in which he accuses her of trying to bankrupt everybody and she calls him a “useless ignorant idiot”.

Mr Brunton said Ian Rawle’s previous partners described him as a “mild mannered, thoughtful, hard-working and decent man” but he also told the court: “He was no saint, far from it, he had his faults.”

But Rawle herself admitted she had a “nasty temper” and was “stubborn” and told son Thomas that she had made “a lot people, particularly men’s lives, hell”.

Rawle did not give evidence in her defence and rarely showed emotion as she sat in the dock.

A rare occasion was when her daughter was forced to reveal her mum’s dogs had attacked each other after being left in their bungalow and she cried out “my doggies”.

Rawle, who is said to have complex PTSD, claimed she was the victim of a coercive and controlling relationship.

Judge James Adkin will sentence Rawle, who has denied murder and remains in custody, at Exeter Crown Court at 2pm on Friday.

PAIan Rawle was stabbed to death by his wife during an argument at their home[/caption]

PAChristine Rawle did not give evidence at her trial[/caption]

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