Bridge game rows "led man to murder wife"

LONDON Tue Jul 20, 2010 4:02pm BST

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LONDON (Reuters) - A British man murdered his wife after constant arguments about her ability to play bridge, a court heard on Tuesday. Stephen Green, 52, is accused of stabbing his wife Carole to death in January, after rows about her card playing.

Carole Green's body was discovered at the couple's home on January 18 this year -- three days after the prosecution claims she was killed by her husband.

She suffered about 100 injuries to her upper body and neck.

Green, who denies murder, was found by police in the bath with cuts to his wrist and appeared "unfazed" when arrested, Preston Crown Court heard.

Fellow members at Lytham Bridge Club in Lancashire, Diana and Peter Sizer told the court the defendant's attitude at club meetings had changed noticeably in the previous three years, the Press Association reported.

Green had started drinking heavily which led to "vicious" criticism of his wife's prowess at bridge and a deterioration in his own game, Diana Sizer told the court.

Club members would regularly visit each other's homes socially for card games and travel together to competitions across the country, she said.

Intense debates over what hands were played at meetings would also take place at local pubs afterwards.

In either December 2008 or January 2009, a card game at the Greens' home was interrupted when the defendant shouted at his wife and threatened to throw her off the balcony, Sizer added.

Peter Sizer told the court the Greens would play together once or twice a month. Both would start off the night playing together before drinking would commence and partners were swapped during games called Chicago.

"When he thought she had made errors or was not playing well, he could be quite vicious verbally," he said.

The trial continues.

(Reporting by Nina Chestney; Editing by Steve Addison)

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