A BED-HOPPING boyfriend at the centre of a fatal love triangle has told a murder trial that he couldn’t bring himself to break up with either woman.
Cheating Ashley Watson said he loved both victim Emma Bradshaw and her alleged killer, Karla Biddle.
He had been in an on-off relationship with the 32-year-old business graduate for 15 years when she drove to his house in a leafy suburban street and attacked Miss Bradshaw last May, Warwick Crown Court heard yesterday (Wednesday).
Miss Bradshaw stumbled out in to Berkeley Road in Shirley wearing only in a blue dressing gown and collapsed with knife wounds after banging on a neighbour’s door for help.
Blonde Biddle of Aldbury Road, Yardley Wood, told police after her arrest that she went sunbathing in Cannon Hill Park after spending the day of the killing at work.
She denies murder on May 14 last year.
Giving evidence on the second day of the trial, Mr Watson told the jury of six men and six women that his life was a “living hell” as he deceived the pair about the nature of his relationship with the other.
The 32-year-old told the jury that he cared about and loved them both and had not intended to hurt either of them.
Asked by defence barrister Christopher Hotten QC why he had not broken up with Biddle after meeting Miss Bradshaw, Mr Watson replied: “It was just too difficult.
“I still really cared about Karla - she had been a massive part of my life.
“I didn’t want to hurt Emma and I didn’t want to hurt Karla.”
Asked whether he had paused to consider the emotional impact of his actions on Biddle, the car parts consultant replied: “It was emotionally crippling me. I didn’t set out to do any of this.”
The court was told that Biddle and Mr Watson had met at school and bought a house together in 2002.
They were engaged in 2003 but the wedding was later called off as Mr Watson had started a relationship with Miss Bradshaw after meeting her while he was working for Mercedes Benz in 2005.
When asked why he continued to sleep with Biddle, Mr Watson said: “I just got caught in circumstance - it wasn’t planned at all.
“I never set out to hurt anybody. My life was a living hell.”
The jury was told that since the death, Mr Watson has begun a new relationship with a former colleague who was now pregnant with his child, which was due in August.
Mr Watson said he had left Miss Bradshaw, from Sutton Coldfield, watching television at his home on May 14.
Prosecution QC Mark Wall earlier told the court that Biddle had gone to the house at 8am and used a knife on Miss Bradshaw.
He said residents in Berkeley Road had seen the latter part of the struggle in the street and reported that both women were in nightclothes.
Biddle went home to change clothes and clocked on for work in Birmingham City Centre at 9.30am, said Mr Wall.
The jury was told that Biddle set about covering up her tracks, ensuring Mr Watson had received an email in which she had told him she had got to work late because of the heavy traffic.
“She doesn’t mention anything that has happened and it’s an attempt by her to set up an alibi,” he said. “She told police that after work she spent the afternoon sunbathing in Canon Hill Park.”
The court heard that Miss Bradshaw was rushed to hospital for emergency surgery but died from two stab wounds to her abdomen and also suffered cuts to her hands.
Home Office pathologist Alexander Kolar said they were likely to have been caused as she tried to “ward off a blow” or grab hold of a knife.
“The wounds to her hand are suggestive of what are sometimes referred to as defence wounds,” he said.
“They can be caused when someone makes an attempt to ward off a blow or grab a blade.”