David Maggs told police his wife ‘doesn’t know how to keep her mouth shut, so I topped her’
A man who stabbed his wife more than 15 times as she lay in bed has been jailed for life, with a minimum term of twenty years, for her murder.
David Maggs, 71, who pleaded guilty to manslaughter by reason of diminished responsibility, said that he had “blanked out” during the attack.
However, a jury found him guilty of murdering his wife Linda after he told police officers at the scene: “Thirty years I’ve been married to her and she doesn’t know how to keep her mouth shut, so I topped her.”
The couple had been together for 28 years but Mrs Maggs had been in the process of divorcing her husband, Cardiff Crown Court was told.
In his sentencing remarks, Judge Michael Fitton described David Maggs as a “self-centered, self-interested, bitter and unpleasant man”. He said that Maggs had shown no remorse over the murder, adding: “You had come to resent Linda in a whole variety of ways. You resented her still having a life, a social life, female friends, loving members of family.
“You resented her having the courage to stick up for herself and starting divorce proceedings against you.”
Judge Fitton said that Linda Maggs, who was formerly known as Linda Minahan, had died “not just in pain but in terror”.
In the months leading up to his wife’s death, the retired accountant, David Maggs, had become obsessed with the idea that she was hiding money from him, the court heard.
Prosecutors said Maggs had made threats to stab and kill his partner in front of a number of people, including an estate agent and a housing officer.
He told police officers who arrived at the scene of the crime he’d “just had enough”, adding: “She tried to steal two houses from me, two houses.”
Her family described her as an “amazing mum and nan” and a “dear friend”. In a tribute, issued through police, they said: “She was a dear mum who was always at the end of a phone to give us love and advice when we needed it.
“She was beautiful inside and out and will be sorely missed by all who had the pleasure of knowing her,” they added.
“She had the kindest heart and would do anything for anyone. Our lives will never be the same and her memory will be treasured by us forever.”
On the day of his wife’s death, Maggs took two kitchen knives upstairs to his wife’s room at just after 9am. He left one outside the door, the court heard.
The killer sat by his wife as she was lying on their bed under the blankets and told her he wanted to talk about the divorce. She replied that they should leave it for the solicitors and he became angry, he told police.
Maggs claimed that he couldn’t remember anything that happened until after the attack.
He called the emergency services and told the operator that he thought his wife had “passed away”.
He added: “I don’t, I don’t know, I just, I just lost it.. Just help me.”
He was arrested by Gwent Police officers and body-worn camera footage showed two red knives visible on the bottom step of the stairs.
Judge Fitton, speaking at Cardiff Crown Court on Thursday, said that Maggs had been “brooding about the finances” and erroneously thought that his wife was going to cheat him of his money during divorce proceedings.
He described Magg’s actions as a “savage attack in which you delivered a series of blows” with a knife.
Linda Maggs “suffered injuries to her arms and hands in self defence as she tied in vain to fend you off,” he added.
Judge Fitton said he doubted Maggs would ever express remorse for his actions and added: “I don’t think you care about anyone other than yourself.”