Jilted wife said she planned to maim her rival, court told

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The Independent Online

Rena Salmon, the jilted wife accused of murdering her husband's mistress, told a friend the day before the shooting that she had a gun and planned to maim her rival, the Old Bailey heard yesterday.

Rena Salmon, the jilted wife accused of murdering her husband's mistress, told a friend the day before the shooting that she had a gun and planned to maim her rival, the Old Bailey heard yesterday.

Deborah Burke told the court that Ms Salmon, 43, had said she wanted to stop Lorna Stewart, 36, from having any more children. She had also warned: "If you see anything in the papers, it will be me."

The next day, Ms Salmon allegedly shot Ms Stewart twice in the chest with a double-barrelled shotgun in Ms Stewart's beauty salon in Chiswick, west London.

Both Ms Salmon and Ms Burke cried after Ms Burke gave evidence for the prosecution on the fourth day of the trial.

Ms Burke said she had run into Ms Salmon on 9 September last year by chance. "She said she was having a rough time. Her husband, Paul, was having an affair. I felt so sad for her." But, Ms Burke said, the conversation had turned darker. "She said, 'I have got a gun.' I was quite taken aback. She said, 'I am not going to kill her, but shoot her here so she could not have any more babies." Ms Salmon had gestured towards her abdomen, Ms Burke said.

"I said, 'You are going to get through this. You are tough.' She said, 'If you see anything in the papers, it will be me.' I said laughingly: 'Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.' "

Ms Burke said she first met Ms Salmon in the late 1990s during a stay at a women's refuge in Newbury. Ms Salmon had helped her. "Rena adored Paul and loved her kids to bits. I suppose I put her on a pedestal because that is what I wanted for myself." She said of the meeting before the shooting: "It was not the Rena I had come to respect and admire."

After giving evidence, a weeping Ms Burke left the court mouthing "sorry" to Ms Salmon, who burst into tears.

A family friend, Bill Sims, told the court that Ms Salmon had said she wanted to "exact revenge" for her husband moving in with Ms Stewart. "She said that Lorna had gained everything and lost nothing. She had Paul, two cars, access to his money and there were no children to tie him down."

The court was also told that Ms Salmon had duped Thomas Evans, a locksmith, into opening a gun cabinet holding the shotgun by telling him her husband had died in a car crash and she needed access to insurance papers.

Ms Salmon, from Great Shefford, Berkshire, denies murder. The trial continues.