– ‘Shot ex-wife in street in row over cash’
A retired night club owner shot his ex-wife in the head at point blank range with a gun that was concealed in a Tesco shopping bag, the Old Bailey was told yesterday.
Ronald Seymour, 70, feared Sonia Delaville, then 65, would take his money in a court battle 14 years after the couple had divorced, the prosecution said.
He gunned her down in a street in north London in front of horrified witnesses. He then drove off and threw the gun into a river behind his house before calling his solicitor to confess, the court heard.
Ms Delaville survived the shooting but suffered brain damage and was not well enough to give evidence.
Seymour, who was born in British Guiana, now Guyana, and came to Britain in the Fifties, had lived a colourful life running highly successful clubs in London. He married Ms Delaville in the Sixties after she had been “somewhat dazzled by his glamorous lifestyle,” said Sarah Whitehouse, for the prosecution.
But they divorced amicably in 1996 when Seymour decided that he needed a green card to stay in the United States and so would have to marry an American.
He returned to London seven months later and the couple continued to live together in Finchley.
However, Ms Delaville complained to her family and solicitor that he was physically abusive. She said that he had pressed a knife to her throat and strangled her so hard that she needed hospital treatment for a damaged eyeball.
After the shooting in Finchley, police found her handwritten notes detailing his ill treatment of her, the court was told. In August last year Ms Delaville went to her solicitor to say that she was moving out of the Finchley house she had shared with Seymour and she wanted a financial settlement.
An agreement was reached to sell the property and split the proceeds and the couple met at the home of one of her friends.
There was due to be a court hearing last February but the afternoon before, after Ms Delaville had seen her solicitor, she was shot.
Ms Whitehouse said: “It seems that she was by her car and Seymour was seen to be struggling with her as she was shouting No, no, no.’
“Some witnesses say he dragged her along the road. He was holding a red and white Tesco carrier bag and the gun was inside the bag. Suddenly there was a bang and she slumped to the ground.”
Ms Whitehouse told the jury that there was no dispute that Seymour had fired the shots.
He has pleaded not guilty to attempted murder and to having a firearm with intent to endanger life.
The case continues. (London Evening Standard)
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