'Murdered' council worker urinated on couple's doorstep and threatened to 'slit throats', jury told

Watch Sam Blackledge's report as the defence case concludes in the Christine Rawle murder trial

A former council contractor who was allegedly stabbed to death by his wife threatened and insulted a couple he was working for, a court has heard.

He spat at them, urinated on their doorstep and warned them he would slit their throats, a jury was told today, Tuesday 19 March.

Mr and Mrs Rawle lived at Kittywell Wood near Braunton. Credit: ITV News

Ian Rawle died at home in Braunton in 2022 and his wife, Christine, is on trial for murder.

Jurors in the trial have been hearing from Daniel Bowden, who experienced flooding at his home back in 2014 and was visited by Mr Rawle, who worked for Devon County Council.

Mr Bowden said: "He was aggressive, he smelt of alcohol, he was constantly in my face. We offered him a cup of coffee out of consideration because he didn't seem right. I didn't know what was wrong with him."

Christine Rawle is accused of murder. Credit: Liz Cook/ITV News

Mr Bowden claimed Mr Rawle gave him incorrect advice about a faulty pipe and that Mr Rawle became angry.

"It was appalling," Mr Bowden said. "He was almost incoherent, the rage he displayed was just unrealistic given the circumstances.

"He was spitting, he seemed out of control, and I think it was then that he suddenly turned and urinated on our property."

Mr and Mrs Rawle were said to have been living 'separate lives' on the same land. Credit: ITV News

Mr Bowden told the court that Mr Rawle also insulted his wife.

"My wife is a doctor, she was on her computer and he made a sneering comment that she was probably playing a computer game," he said.

"He arrived three times that week. Once I was on the phone complaining about him, he tried to walk into our kitchen, I stopped him.

"He said I was a very stupid person and he said 'I can get people round here to sort you out'. He then said that again and made a gesture to his throat. That was aimed at my wife."

Mr Bowden demonstrated the gesture to the court, pulling his finger across his throat.

The court also heard from John Priddle, who had been walking in woods near the Rawles' home on the day Ian died.

Mr Priddle said he heard a woman's voice shouting for help in "considerable distress".

"She shouted 'help' repeatedly and 'get away from me you effing bastard' at one point."

Mr Priddle said the voice sounded "frantic" and "distressed". "I thought somebody was in trouble and was in need of help," he added.

"I couldn't work out exactly where it was coming from or how far away it was. I felt quite helpless, I felt like I should be helping.

"It seemed like there was something serious happening. Soon after that we saw a helicopter and emergency vehicles."

Christine Rawle denies murder and the trial continues.