A former Columbian policeman, who has admitted burying his wife’s body Northchurch Common, near Berkhamsted, today (July 24) denied he had murdered her.
Rodrigo Giraldo, 56, is alleged to have killed his wife Margory, burnt her body in woods and then hid her remains in a shallow grave.
As he disposed of her body he took with him a two-month-old baby girl that he and Margory, 50, were fostering, St Albans Crown Court heard.
Giraldo, who was aided by a Spanish interpreter in the witness box, said their marriage was breaking down towards the end of last year and they were sleeping in separate rooms at their home in Ritcroft Street, Hemel Hempstead.
On the evening before she died, he said he was looking for coins in her handbag when he found her wedding ring.
The next morning, January 13, 2019, he said he was in the kitchen when she appeared and started insulting him in Spanish. “She was telling me: ‘You are a son of a b***h.’
“I wasn’t feeling anger or anything. I was feeling really sad. I have always tried to be calm and quiet. She was speaking aggressively. I was telling her calm down.”
Giraldo said she was at the sink and had a knife in her hand when she lunged at him. He went on: “I was trying to grab her hand so she would not cut herself or maybe she wouldn’t fall on top of the knife. We struggled a lot. I was trying to avoid her cutting herself.
“I was trying to push her away. At some point during the struggle we crashed into a radiator and some parts of the table.”
He said his wife looked as if she going to be sick and collapsed in front of him: “She became pale and I said ‘Margory, Margory what is happening to you?’
“I grabbed her by the hands. Her hands were really cold and her eyes were really open.”
He told the jury had tried to give her mouth to mouth resuscitation, but she did not respond.
When asked why he did not call the emergency services, he said: “At one point it occurred to me, but I didn’t do it. I didn’t do it because I believed she was already dead.”
Giraldo denies murdering Margory on the morning of January 13 this year.
At the start of the case, prosecutor Stuart Trimmer QC alleged Giraldo murdered his wife after becoming obsessive about her when she told him they wanted to separate. He said he was worried she was cheating on him and would leave him.
He said towards the end of 2018, she told him she did not want to stay with him any longer – something that made him tense and very sad.