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News Clippings

Saturday 28 September 1996 (Daily Telegraph)

Spider revenge of jilted husband

A HUSBAND took revenge on his wife's lover by taunting him with a five-inch Chilean spider, a court was told yesterday.

The lover was so frightened that he had to take tranquilisers, Salisbury magistrates' court heard.

Tony Smith, 45, a father-of-three, of Porton, near Salisbury, bought the spider from a local pet shop knowing that Kevin Knight, 50, was an arachnophobic. He then took it round to Mr Knight's house four miles away where Smith's wife Karen, 38, had previously moved in.

Smith pushed his way into the house, said Ian Halliday, prosecuting. "Mr Knight ran down the hallway followed by the defendant who was swearing at him.

"Mr Knight slipped and fell on the floor. The defendant then hit him in the face three times. A few minutes later Mr Knight felt a tingling sensation and realised that Smith had thrown a spider at him."

Sarah Barnard, defending, said Smith, a former RAF pilot, was a man of good character but had flipped when his wife left him.

Smith pleaded guilty to causing actual bodily harm and was granted bail on condition that he kept away from Mr Knight.

The case was adjourned until next month for pre-sentence reports to be written.

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