Wife 'shot rival after discussing fate of children'

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The Independent Online

An abandoned wife pointed a shotgun at her husband's lover and calmly discussed the future of their families before pumping two rounds into her, a witness told the Old Bailey yesterday.

An abandoned wife pointed a shotgun at her husband's lover and calmly discussed the future of their families before pumping two rounds into her, a witness told the Old Bailey yesterday.

A hushed courtroom heard that Lorna Stewart had quietly asked Rena Salmon: "So you have come to shoot me?" Earlier the jury was told that Mrs Salmon's husband, Paul, had left her and was having an affair with Ms Stewart, 36.

Lindsey Rees, a bookkeeper at Ms Stewart's beauty salon, claimed: "I was writing a cheque and I heard Lorna say, 'Hello Rena'. I saw someone in the doorway. Then I heard Lorna say, 'So you have come to shoot me?' She said, 'Yes'. Lorna asked, 'What about the children?' She replied, 'What about your children – you have left them in Australia'. Lorna said, 'But what about your children?' She said, 'My children will be looked after by Paul'. Then she shot Lorna.

"It was a very controlled conversation. Neither was hysterical. They were very calm. Lorna was extremely calm in the circumstances.

"Rena had no emotion on her face or inflection in her voice," the bookkeeper added.

Miss Rees was giving evidence on the third day of the trial in which Mrs Salmon, 43, from Great Shefford, Berkshire, denies murdering Ms Stewart on 10 September last year. Miss Rees claimed the defendant held the gun steadfastly at Ms Stewart.

"She was looking at Lorna. She never looked anywhere else." After firing once "Lorna tipped over on the floor. I jumped up. I ran round the back to the stairs. I got out as quickly as I could up the stairs," she continued.

Faltering as she recalled the events, Miss Rees went on: "When I got to the stairs I heard another shot."

Spotting some electricians, she screamed and shouted for them to call the emergency services. Later the court was told the electricians had failed to take Mrs Salmon seriously when she first approached the salon armed with a shotgun, throwing their hands up in mock alarm. "She looked at us and asked if Lorna was in. Her manner was calm and relaxed," explained Robert Hogg in a statement.

The trial continues.