Accused thought wife’s murder was ‘practical joke’

A MAN charged with killing his wife thought it was a “practical joke” when told she had died, a court heard.
The High Court in Glasgow. Picture: Johnston PressThe High Court in Glasgow. Picture: Johnston Press
The High Court in Glasgow. Picture: Johnston Press

Marion Vita’s husband Tony said he did not even know the 48-year-old was injured after she met to speak with him following the revelation she was having an affair with another woman.

Vita’s claim was made in a letter to a work colleague weeks after his wife’s death.

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The 47-year-old also described how he had been grief stricken at Mrs Vita’s infidelity and had tried to kill himself.

The evidence was heard at Vita’s trial at the High Court in Glasgow earlier today.

It is alleged he knifed to death Mrs Vita - a manager with the Crown Office - at the family home in the city’s Baillieston area last September.

The jury heard how Vita had exchanged letters with Suzanne Corrigan - a colleague at the Department of Work and Pensions - following the death of his wife.

They included Vita recalling the night of last September 20 - the day of the alleged killing - and how he had been “overwhelmed with grief” at his wife’s affair.

The trial has been told how Mrs Vita went to the family home that evening to see her husband and young son.

She was later found by a friend slumped on a couch with a wound in her back.

An extract read out in court included: “I did not know she was hurt, nevermind dead.

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“I didn’t know until I was discharged from hospital. I could not believe it and thought that it was a practical joke.”

The jury also heard of another letter - dated November 14 - that Vita sent to his manager Peter Aitchison, who had earlier sent a card to the dad.

Vita described in the letter taking a cocktail of tablets and vodka on September 20 adding he could “not cope with the deceit”.

Vita claimed he later went to get a knife to kill himself when his wife was there and that she became “hysterical”.

It went on: “Marion was sitting on the couch when I left her. I went upstairs and stabbed myself twice.

“If I thought Marion had been injured in any way, I would have called for help.

“The next thing I remember is waking up in hospital. When I was discharged, I was charged with murder.

“I was stunned. I did not think she was hurt, nevermind dead.”

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Meanwhile, Elwira Rumniak - Mrs Vita’s 34 year-old lover - appeared before the court today.

The court was previously told how the women had met in October 2012 and began a sexual relationship weeks later.

Miss Rumniak - questioned for a second day by Vita’s QC Brian McConnachie - claimed the dad had been a “bully” during his marriage.

Mr McConnachie said: “You are determined to get in the idea that Marion was unhappy, frightened and that Tony was a bully.”

Miss Rumniak: “That is the truth.”

She went on: “They had argued for years before Marion met me.”

The QC then asked: “Did Marion change when she met you?”

The witness: “She was probably much happier.”

Vita denies murder and the trial, before Judge Sean Murphy QC, continues.