‘You are going to watch me die’ - man accused of attempted murder claims a voice told him to take his own life

PUBLISHED: 17:38 10 October 2019 | UPDATED: 17:38 10 October 2019

Police outside property on Riverside Road, Norwich

Police outside property on Riverside Road, Norwich


A man who cut his wife of 41 years when he confronted her in an alleyway said a voice told him to end his life as he tried to make her watch him bleed to death.

Alleyway off Riverside Road where Paul Brine attempted to murder his wife. PIC: Peter Walsh.Alleyway off Riverside Road where Paul Brine attempted to murder his wife. PIC: Peter Walsh.

Paul Brine, 66, stabbed his estranged wife and her friend in an alleyway on Riverside Road, Norwich, after she rejected his pleas to have him back.

He denies attempted murder but has admitted unlawful wounding at Norwich Crown Court.

The prosecution say Brine produced a hunting knife from behind his back "like a dagger" before telling his wife: "I am going to murder you".

But Brine said his wife misheard him and claimed he said he was going to kill himself. He said the two women were injured as they tried to wrestle the knife from him.

Police outside property on Riverside Road, NorwichPolice outside property on Riverside Road, Norwich

"I thought I had put her through enough and I had this voice telling me it is time to die," he told a jury.

"It was two people talking in my ear. One said, 'don't put her through any more, just end it'. The other said: 'you just want your life back the way it was'."

Norwich Crown Court heard he had confronted the pair on November 8 last year, and both women suffered stab wounds before Brine was disarmed by a neighbour.

He said he bought a sharp blade to kill himself "efficiently", and told his wife: "You are going to watch me die because I can't go on without you, and you are going to have to live with it."

Brine was arrested by armed police at his home in Randell Close, North Walsham, after he says he made two failed suicide attempts. Officers found his will laid out on the table, with a note to his daughter.

When he was arrested he told officers: "I went to make up with my wife but it went horribly wrong. I stabbed her."

Brine was interviewed by police on November 9 after being released from the James Paget Hospital.

He told officers the couple had been married for 41 years and he had suffered from mood swings and depression since he was a teenager.

In the weeks leading to the incident his mental health deteriorated into "utter depression and despair", he said, with suicidal thoughts.

"I was in such a terrible state I got the knife out and held up my arm and said: 'You are going to watch me die because I can't go on without you, and you are going to have to live with it."

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He said when he raised the knife both women grabbed his arm, and the blade was "going everywhere".

"I can now see how incredibly cruel that would be - to watch me bleed to death in front of her," he told the court.

Peter Gair, cross-examining Brine, said: "Your plan was to emotionally blackmail your wife to get her back.

"In your car you had a hunting knife and a bottle of whisky. You put those there deliberately in the hope you did come across your wife.

"You had the means to have your Dutch courage and the knife to cause injury.

"You had her trapped in a narrow alleyway. Armed with a knife you hid around the corner. I you can't have her, no one will."

Brine told psychiatrists what happened was like a "horror nightmare" and he had not been in control.

"I was split between death and trying to get my life back," he said. It felt like my head was being torn apart from indecision.

"I do not consider myself at all insane. I just have a long history of a great deal of anxiety and depression.

"I have always reserved the right when I have had enough of this life I would leave it. I would never hurt anyone else.

"If I wanted to kill her that day I would have done it. I was perfectly capable of killing her if I wanted to. I didn't want to kill her.

"I actually thought when I asked her to leave home she would be better off without me. My misery was more than enough for the last 40 years.

"I have got so much love and compassion and gratitude that she stayed with me for so long.

"This is a woman I love. I am totally responsible.

"The remorse and the guilt is still overwhelming."

The trial continues.

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