A 51-year-old British church treasurer and driving test examiner is in court accused of deliberately ramming his speeding car into a tree in order to kill his wife, who had reported him as abusive and who was apparently unwilling to meet his incessant “sexual demands.”
According to U.K. newspaper The Telegraph, “Angry” Ian Walters and his wife, Tracy Walters, 48, were returning from a “make or break” holiday weekend together when Walters reportedly veered their vehicle off of the M1 highway and into a tree.
Tracy Walters suffered critical injuries and was airlifted to a nearby hospital where she died days later. Ian Walters was also seriously injured in the impact, but survived.
The troubled couple had spent the weekend in Yorkshire in a rented cabin attempting to hash out the difficulties in their marriage. At least one “999” emergency call originated from the cabin over the weekend.
Prosecutor Charles Miskin of Leicester Crown Court said that Tracy Walters had texted one of her sons from a previous marriage just an hour before the crash that she was frightened of Ian Walters and wanted to speak to the police.
“I need him arrested when I get back,” she wrote in her last text message, “but I am scared because he is so volatile and I don’t want to wind him up.”
Mrs. Walters had also told relatives that her husband — a former Parochial Church Council treasurer at Christ Church in Swindon — was abusing her prior to the Yorkshire trip.
It was on the way back to their home in Swindon that Ian Walters is believed to have deliberately crashed his black Mitsubishi. No other vehicles were involved in the crash. Prosecutors said the vehicle was traveling between 75 and 95 miles per hour on impact.
“The prosecution say the defendant deliberately caused the crash, not for any virtuous reasons like saving members of the public who were passing motorists,” Miskin told the court on Tuesday. “The prosecution says he was an angry man. He was in trouble with his wife; he was in trouble with his wife’s wider family and he was in trouble with the police.”
“He probably felt all this was a combination which humiliated him. Theirs was a troubled and abusive relationship,” he said.
Miskin explained to jurors, “The principal issue here appears to have been sex. It seemed he wanted sex all of the time and she couldn’t cope with his demands. It seems he was using sex with her as a sort of sedative.”
Walters has repeatedly told investigators he would never commit such an act and that he remembers nothing about the crash.
The couple married in 2011. Miskin said that the abuse started almost straightaway. Archives of text messages between them sketch out a portrait of an abusive and unhappy relationship.
Mrs. Walters had reportedly asked for a divorce on at least one occasion. In the weeks before her death, she and Ian Walters had fought badly at home, an incident that culminated in her frantically calling police from inside a locked upstairs bathroom.
When authorities arrived, Ian Walters told them that there was a misunderstanding, that there was no violence, just an argument between him and his wife because he wanted to have sex and she didn’t. Police made a record of the incident but apparently took no action at the time.