Horse trainer 'stabbed husband to death while on phone call with her daughter', trial hears

27 February 2024, 10:34 | Updated: 27 February 2024, 15:01

The court heard how Rawle had stabbed her husband twice before - one time with a fork and another with a knife.
The court heard how Rawle had stabbed her husband twice before - one time with a fork and another with a knife. Picture: Facebook
Jasmine Moody

By Jasmine Moody

A horse trainer allegedly stabbed her husband "in a fit of temper" while on the phone to her daughter after the couple argued about their finances, a court heard.

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Christine Rawle attacked her husband in August 2022 at their bungalow in north Devon, after an argument about selling some land, jurors at Exeter Crown Court were told.

Jurors heard how after the fight, Ian Rawle, 72, followed his wife into their fields for around 100 yards - with a knife still lodged in his back, begging her to "pull" it out, before collapsing and dying.

Hours before the stabbing, the registered horse trainer allegedly texted her daughter: "I hope the c*** dies."

Earlier on in the day, Rawle complained about her health issues and unhappiness with her husband, to her daughter over the phone.

The couple were described as "dysfunctional", with Rawle having temporarily moved into an old stable building converted into an Airbnb apartment, away from the main house.

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In a phone call later on in the day, Rawle's daughter allegedly heard her mother screaming: "Help me, help me! I’ve stabbed him, I’ve stabbed him!

"I am going to be in trouble, I have stabbed him! I am going to prison for the rest of my life."

Rawles' daughter then called for an ambulance.

The mother of three is said to have removed the knife before kicking it under the door of a stable, before sitting and waiting for the the arrival of the emergency services.

The mother of three is said to have removed the knife before kicking it under the door of a stable.
The mother of three is said to have removed the knife before kicking it under the door of a stable. Picture: Facebook

Rawle has pleaded not guilty to murder and claims she was a victim of a controlling and coercive relationship.

However, Prosecutor Sean Brunton KC has accused Rawle herself of being a bully and that she was the manipulative, demanding party, describing her as a "complex, troubled, somewhat devious woman".

Mr Brunton declared that the couple were "dysfunctional," telling Exeter crown court "to stab a knife into someone’s back without any warning is not an act of self-defence,."

"It is not self-defence in any conceivable circumstances to simply lose your temper and lash out because you are not getting your own way in a long-standing argument.

"That is no excuse and no defence to a charge of murder."

On social media, the mother of three describes herself as a "registered horse trainer" and is also known as the "horse whisperer".
On social media, the mother of three describes herself as a "registered horse trainer" and is also known as the "horse whisperer". Picture: Facebook

In court, Rawle said that she and Ian were arguing over selling some land at their small holding.

She wanted the money to improve the small holding and for a cataract operation, but Ian changed his mind, with the murder taking place soon after.

"That was the argument simmering when Ian Rawle was killed," Mr Brunton said.

The court also heard how Rawle had stabbed her husband twice before - one time with a fork and another with a knife.

Rawles and her late husband had both been married before, before tying the knot in April 1995.

The trial continues.

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