Jealous husband told police he ‘lost it’ before stabbing wife to death

Mandy Gallear
Mandy Gallear

A man stabbed his accountant wife to death in Wigan the day after he discovered she was having an affair with a joiner, a jury has heard.

Stuart Gallear, 51, told police he “lost it” and attacked her with a kitchen knife at the marital home in Hindley, near Wigan, on October 6 last year.

The scene of the stabbing - Makinson Avenue, Hindley

The scene of the stabbing - Makinson Avenue, Hindley

Police arrived at the address within 10 minutes of the defendant ringing for an ambulance and found Mandy Gallear, 42, lying motionless on the kitchen floor with three deep wounds to her chest.

Mrs Gallear, head of accounts at a property firm, was rushed to hospital but medics could not resuscitate her and she was pronounced dead.

Former warehouse manager Gallear has pleaded guilty to her manslaughter but denies murder.

The couple, who were married in 1998, emigrated to Canada in 2009 with their two young daughters but the move was not a success and they flew back to the UK just three months later.

He recalled lunging at Mandy, grabbing her by the throat, grabbing the knife from the drawer, pushing her back towards the sink and stabbing her two or three times with the knife

Alaric Bassano, prosecuting

Manchester Crown Court heard that Gallear became depressed on their return as he drank to excess and neglected his wife and daughters.

Alaric Bassano, prosecuting, said Mrs Gallear told others about her dissatisfaction with her husband and how he mistreated her.

In 2014, Gallear made a pass at his wife’s sister when he tried to kiss her, said Mr Bassano.

Then in 2015, Mrs Gallear became romantically involved with Mark Prescott, he continued.

Mr Bassano said: “She informed the defendant of the fact of this relationship - though, mindful that the defendant knew Prescott, did not tell him of Prescott’s identity.

“Mandy Gallear fell in love with Mark Prescott and in early 2016 confided in a work colleague that she wanted to leave the defendant but felt unable to do so because of her children.

“She thus continued to live under the same roof as the defendant, but maintained her relationship with Mark Prescott until the time of her death.”

Matters came to a head in early October last year, said the prosecutor, when Mr Prescott’s partner found about the affair.

On October 5 Mr Prescott’s stepson went to the Gallear family home in Makinson Avenue and informed the defendant of the affair.

Mr Bassano said: “This was the first time that the defendant learned of the identity of the man with whom Mandy had been romantically involved.

“Mandy confirmed this to the defendant and told him that she wanted a separation.

“She also told the defendant that she was in love with Prescott.”

Gallear later sent text messages to Mr Prescott - one of which said “big mistake” and the other “just found out you f****** my wife”, the court heard.

On the morning of October 6 Mrs Gallear told work colleagues at Chorley-based property developers Heaton Estates she was getting divorced and was planning to view a house for rent with Mr Prescott that day.

Mr Bassano said throughout that day Gallear’s distress, anger and resentment manifested itself to a number of people.

He phoned Mr Prescott and threatened to kill him, said the prosecutor, before he texted him: “I made a stupid pass at her sister and regret it ever since and was trying to rebuild until you got involved”.

Gallear told his next-door neighbour that his wife had “ruined my life” and later visited the Hindley Arms pub at lunch where he informed a customer “I’ve just found out my wife has been having an affair with my mate”, the jury was told.

When interviewed by detectives, Gallear later told police he walked home at 3.30pm and talked “amicably” with his wife in their kitchen.

Gallear said his wife then said: “Anyway, it’s sorted now. We are separating. I love him more than you” and his memory of what happened next was “blurred”.

Mr Bassano told the jury: “He recalled lunging at Mandy, grabbing her by the throat, grabbing the knife from the drawer, pushing her back towards the sink and stabbing her two or three times with the knife.”

Gallear said his wife then protested “what are you doing? I still love you” and he then “just snapped out of it”, put the knife aside and rang emergency services at 3.49pm, the court heard.

In the 999 call played to the jury Gallear tells the operator: “I have just stabbed my wife. We have had a break-up and I have just lost it... I just lost it.”

Gallear then performed chest compressions on his wife and attempted to stem the bleeding as he twice told the operator to get to the scene as quick as possible.

Gallear repeated he had “lost it” when police arrived and after being formally arrested he replied: “I’ve made a mistake. I accept the consequences.”

A post-mortem examination revealed that one of the stab wounds was 19cm deep and cut through the bone of the sternum, which would have been delivered with “severe force”.

Mr Bassano said: “The defendant claims that he stabbed his wife through a loss of self-control.

“Even if that is true, the Crown rejects any suggestion that the defendant’s killing of his wife was anything other than an act of murder.”

The case continues ...