He is on trial for the Murder of his estranged Wife.
Handyman Alfredo Merigo, who underwent combat training in the Italian Army, is alleged to have stabbed his wife Linda, 40, more than 100 times on the driveway of her home, having turned their son’s pushchair around so he wouldn’t see what was happening.
In the weeks leading up to the killing on September 1 last year, he viewed internet sites including “The perfect crime” and “The best way to kill a person”.
He told a Sheffield Crown Court jury he looked up “Murder or manslaughter: what’s the difference?” after his son from a previous marriage began asking him questions about a Jonathan Creek episode.
And Merigo, 43, said he was researching a “vast network” of sites after discussing high-profile murder cases which were in the news at the time with work colleagues.
Asked by his barrister Peter Birkett QC why he was viewing sites about “Killing with bare hands” and “Life in prison” he replied: “It was out of curiosity.”
The court has heard how Merigo contacted a former work colleague on Facebook and wrote: “Feel like killing-ex-wife. I’m being taken for a mug, been used. She’s acting very sly and a lot more. Anyone you know sells guns?”
He ended the conversation: “Will chat soon, if not inside”.
Merigo told the jury the message had been “like more of a laugh” after he believed Linda was on the verge of pulling out of a planned trip to Blackpool with their son Luca.
He said the talk of “killing” and “being in prison” was a “bit of a joke”. He said: “It’s like passing a comment when you don’t really mean it.”
Asked if he harboured any intention to kill his wife in the weeks beforehand he replied: “Not at all,no.”
The couple met after social worker Mrs Merigo answered the defendant’s advert in a lonely hearts column. After the birth of their son they married in May, 2008 but it was a stormy relationship.
Merigo bought a dictaphone so he could record details of his wife’s “abnormal behaviour patterns” in case there was a future custody battle.
But after custody arrangements were sorted out, he claimed the couple got on better and he booked the trip to Blackpool.
He told the court: “I thought there was a strong possibility we could get back together.”
The couple however rowed again in August last year after Linda accused Merigo by text of putting “inappropriate language into Luca” and “traumatising” the toddler.
Merigo replied: “I love him and you more than anything else in the world.”
It was after this text exchange, just a fortnight before the killing, that the prosecution say Merigo began researching murder websites.
Merigo, of Weelsby Street, Grimsby admits the manslaughter of his wife on the grounds of provocation but denies her murder at her home in Driffield, East Yorkshire.
The trial continues.
Asked if he struck the blows deliberately and intentionally he replied: “I have no idea.”
He admitted it must have been him who stabbed his wife repeatedly but he was not aware he was doing it.
“With that she lunged at me. I pulled the knife off her, she spun round about 90 degrees and I just lost it and attacked her.”
“She had this knife in her hands,” he said. “She came towards me and said “if you don’t ... shut up about your children I will use it on you.
Merigo said Linda swore at him and produced a kitchen knife from Luca’s pushchair.
The row in the street was over over weekend access arrangements for their son and about Luca joining his two children.
He said he did not view any more sites after his wife agreed to go on the Blackpool trip with Luca and him. He was hoping to move back in with her.
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Merigo looked up where he could buy shellfish toxin and the date-rape drug Rohypnol. Other sites he viewed included “Top ten tips for committing the perfect crime” and “25 methods of killing by hand”.