Jilted Peacehaven husband stabs his wife, court hears

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A jilted Peacehaven husband knifed his wife to death in a busy Brighton square as she collected belongings from him following their marriage breakdown, a court has heard.

Ty Medland, 26, armed himself with four knives before using one of them to launch a “frenzied attack” on 24-year-old Samantha Medland, it is alleged.

Medland, described as a “petulant, self-centred man” incapable of dealing with rejection, had found out she had become close to a man she knew from her past, jurors were told.

Lewes Crown Court heard that Medland had earlier made repeated attempts to try to patch up their marriage but his attempts further drove Mrs Medland away from him.

Prosecutor Richard Barton said that on January 28 this year, she moved out of his mother’s home where they lived in Peacehaven, East Sussex, to live with a friend.

Having only taken a handful of possessions with her, Mrs Medland later arranged to meet her estranged husband to collect some of her belongings in central Brighton.

Mr Barton said that as they met for the handover, Medland grew angry and took out the four knives he had “secreted” upon himself.

“He used one of the knives to attack her so that she collapsed to the pavement and then, kneeling on her to prevent her escaping, he stabbed her in a frenzied attack,” said Mr Barton.

Mrs Medland had brought along a friend with her to the meeting, and as he rushed to her aid, Medland kept him away with the blades.

Opening the prosecution case, Mr Barton told jurors: “The Crown say that this defendant is a petulant, self-centred man, and he was incapable of dealing with that rejection.

“On the day with which you are concerned, he lashed out at her in what was an explosive loss of temper on his part.”

Mr Barton also told the jury of four men, eight women that before the incident, Medland said to friends in text messages that his intention had been to commit murder and then kill himself.

“It is noteworthy that he succeeded comprehensively in the former, that is killing his wife, and failed miserably in the latter - in his attempt on his own life,” he said.

Medland, of Cavell Avenue, Peacehaven, denies murder.

Medland used his estranged wife’s passwords to access her Facebook account so he could check up on her, jurors heard.

From messages she exchanged with friends online, Medland saw her refer to her growing bond with Chris Woods and her belief that her marriage was over.

Mr Barton said: “Seeing those messages effectively supporting what she was telling (Medland) appears to have added to his sense of betrayal and it appears to have fuelled his anger.”

The court heard that Medland first met her at a club in Luton on November 19, 2010 after he travelled up from his home in Sussex to meet a friend.

They “hit it off almost immediately” through their shared love of heavy metal and computers and just over a month later, on Christmas Day 2010, they got engaged.

Two months later, Medland left Sussex to move in with her in Luton.

Mr Barton said Medland had trouble finding work in Bedfordshire and when Mrs Medland ran into difficulties with her job at a hotel, the couple moved to Sussex to live with his mother, Janet Medland.

In the same period Mrs Medland fell pregnant, but by January last year, at the time of her first scan, it emerged she had miscarried, placing a strain on their relationship.

Mr Barton said Medland was hit with further bad news around the same time with the death of his daughter from a previous relationship.

He started to suffer from depression for which he received medication, jurors were told. Mrs Medland, on the other hand, “seemed to deal with things rather better”.

She gained new work at Domestic and General in Brighton, initially as a call handler before winning promotion to a supervisory role.

Mr Barton said: “It became more apparent that this defendant was spending more and more time staying at home, playing computer games and crucially he became more distant from Sam.

“Their relationship, which had been strong in those first few months, began to suffer. It was a feature of this first full year of their marriage that she gets on well, is flourishing, while sadly the defendant found it more difficult to cope.”

On New Year’s Eve 2012, Medland acted in a “petulant way” at a party in Peacehaven and afterwards Mrs Medland told him: “Look, the marriage isn’t working.”

In the weeks that followed, Medland’s mother was at her “wits’ end” about the pair and told the couple they had to move out of her home.

The trial, which is due to last two weeks, was adjourned until 10.30am on Tuesday.