A man snatched a pensioner’s walking stick and used it to kill her before proceeding to murder his wife with it, a court has heard.
Daniel Appleton, 38, was having a “psychotic episode” when he chased his wife Amy out of their home and began to attack her on their driveway on December 22 last year, Hove Crown Court heard.
Good Samaritan passer-by Sandra Seagrave, 76, saw what was happening and rushed to help Amy, 32, using her walking stick to assist her.
Despite being less than five feet tall, she bravely intervened by speaking to Appleton in an effort to protect Amy.
It was then, prosecutors say, that Appleton – “intent on murder” – turned his aggression towards the vulnerable pensioner and murdered her with her own walking stick.
He then returned to his wife – a beloved schoolteacher – and allegedly proceeded to bludgeon her to death with it too.
Appleton, of Hazel Way in Crawley Down, denies the women’s murders and appeared in the dock on Monday for trial.
Opening the case, prosecutor Nicholas Corsellis QC said: “Immediately after the attack and as the emergency services arrived on the scene the defendant went back into his home and attempted to commit suicide.
“In the most determined of ways.”
Appleton took a large kitchen knife and stabbed himself at least five times in the chest as well as slashing his thighs seemingly in an effort to cut his femoral arteries.
He also used the knife to slice his own neck, his head, his calf muscle and forearm.
However emergency services were able to save his life and he was eventually charged with the murders.
Mr Corsellis said Appleton, who has no history of criminality or violence, had been experiencing a “psychotic episode”.