Man tried to kill wife after luring her with ‘broken’ phone

Michael Curley, 51, stabbed and throttled Leanne Curley before she was allowed to leave the property.

Man tried to kill wife after luring her with ‘broken’ phone STV News
High Court: Man jailed after attempting to murder his wife.

A man has been jailed after he attempted to murder his estranged wife when she stopped by his flat to help him fix his phone.

Michael Curley, 51, stabbed and throttled Leanne Curley in the attack before she was allowed to leave the property.

The victim ran downstairs from the top-floor flat in Aberfeldy, Perthshire, to a friend who was waiting for her, the High Court in Edinburgh heard.

Advocate depute Isla Davie QC said: “She was holding a towel to the back of her neck, blood was seeping through her white t-shirt just under her left breast and she had blood on her arm.”

Her friend phoned police before they drove to a supermarket car park to await officers.

The victim was taken to Ninewells Hospital in Dundee and was found to have three stab wounds to the back of her neck, two of which required stitches, along with further wounds to her chest and upper left arm.

Ms Davie said the attacker and his victim had been married but separated in July last year, although they remained in communication.

The prosecutor said that on March 27 this year the victim collected a friend by car.

She said: “They were going to go grocery shopping, but on the way she had arranged to meet Michael Curley at his flat because he had asked for help with his phone.”

The mother-of-two was allowed entry to the flat and he locked the door behind them.

Ms Davie said: “She walked through to the living room and picked up the accused’s iPhone. Whilst she was looking at the phone she was aware of Michael Curley moving around the flat, but she didn’t see what he was doing.”

The prosecutor added: “She couldn’t see any immediate problem with the iPhone which she thought was odd.”

Curley attacked her from behind and put his left arm around her neck. He began tightening his grip and then threw her to the floor.

The victim saw he was holding a kitchen knife in his right hand and he stabbed towards her stomach with the weapon.

He then placed both hands around her neck and began strangling her, leaving her with difficulty breathing.

“She tried to shout for help and he covered her mouth,” said Ms Davie. “She managed to wriggle away from him and get to her feet, but he got up behind her and stabbed her several times to the back of her neck with the knife.

“At this point Leanne Curley asked him to stop and he did. She pleaded with him and mentioned their children not having a mother.”

Curley went into the bathroom and got a towel to put on her neck.

Ms Davie said: “At that point he seemed overcome with remorse. He placed his head in his hands. He had taken Leanne’s mobile phone during the struggle. She asked for it back and he handed it to her saying ‘just go’.”

She tried to leave but saw Curley had put a bathroom unit in front of the door to barricade it, before he then let her out.

Police officers arrested Curley at the flat and he told them: “It was stupid. I let her go straight away.”

Ms Davie said: “At interview Michael Curley stated that he had ‘just snapped’. He also stated that he stopped when she started screaming.”

Curley, of Market Square, Aberfeldy, admitted assaulting the victim by placing an arm around her neck and restricting her breathing and repeatedly striking on the neck and body with a knife to her severe injury and the danger of her life and attempting to murder her.

Defence counsel Tony Lenehan told the court: “He understands he will be received into custody today.”

The judge, Lord Fairley, remanded Curley, who was on bail, and deferred sentence on him until September 25 at the High Court in Glasgow.