Murderer Ian Workman wins first round in bid to clear his name
5:52pm Friday 11th October 2013 in News
A millionaire car-dealer who is serving life behind bars for stabbing his estranged wife to death with a kitchen knife has won a vital round of an Appeal Court bid to clear his name.
Ian Workman was jailed for a minimum of 17-and-a-half years after being found guilty of murdering Sue Workman at Preston Crown Court in December 2011.
She died from a single stab wound in her heart at their remote farmhouse in Plantation Road, Edgworth, in April 2011.
The 60-year-old, of Vale Street, Chapeltown, has always claimed his wife came at him with a knife and was fatally wounded in a struggle as he tried to defend himself.
He is now urging top judges to overturn his conviction - with his lawyers insisting it is 'unsafe'.
His barrister, Ian Winter QC, told the court in London that 'fresh evidence' relating to the mechanics of the fatal stab wound and a blog entry Mrs Workman made minutes before her death casts serious doubt over the jury's guilty verdict.
A rift between the couple's sons was evident at the hearing, as their eldest son, Grant - who is supporting his father's appeal bid - sat at the opposite side of the court from his brothers Ben and Nick.
Lord Justice Pitchford told the court Workman and his wife had been married for nearly 35 years when they divorced in December 2010.
He added that there was an ongoing 'acrimonious' dispute between the pair following the split, and Mrs Workman was still living in the former matrimonial home, in Plantation Road.
However, Workman still had his belongings in the house and would visit regularly.
On April 11, 2011, he arrived at the house at about 1pm and entries in her blog at about 1.30pm indicated there was a row between them.
At about 1.40pm, Workman called 999 and told them his wife had attacked him with a knife and had 'got stabbed'.
Paramedics found her dead and the knife nearby, covered in her blood, and Workman had a number of superficial cuts to his arms and stomach, which he said were the result of her attack on him.
Mr Winter said there was now evidence, which was not heard during the trial, which may contradict the testimony of a prosecution expert, who had said it was 'unlikely' Mrs Workman's wound could have been inflicted in the way her husband described.
He also said there was evidence to suggest that an 'unfinished' diary entry written by Mrs Workman at about 1.30pm may have been incomplete because the computer program had not automatically saved her work.
Lord Justice Pitchford gave permission for a full Appeal Court hearing, to be heard at an unspecified later date.
Sitting with Mr Justice Keith and Mr Justice Lewis, he added: "These points are sufficiently arguable that we should grant leave to appeal."