Murder accused said he would ‘get’ his wife - even if he was in prison

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Drinking friends of a South Yorkshire woman allegedly stabbed to death by her husband told jurors she was “petrified” of him and he’d threatened to kill her.

George Gallagher, aged 55, denies murdering his estranged wife Julie Ann Gallagher, 41, at her home in Faljambe Road, Eastwood, Rotherham, last March.

Giving evidence at Sheffield Crown Court, John Munroe, a regular at The Cranworth pub where Mrs Gallagher liked to drink, told the court she was scared of her husband.

He said Julie had told him her husband had beaten her up and put her in hospital but she was scared of going to court and giving evidence against him because he said he’d kill her.

He said: “She was petrified of him. She was scared to go to court because she was worried about him kicking off.”

Mr Munroe described Julie as “scared and nervous”, adding since she and Gallagher had separated her husband been to her home on a few occasions but she’d been too scared to answer the door to him.

Mr Munroe’s wife Kim also gave evidence.

She said she’d met Julie in the pub and the two had talked about domestic violence because, she said, she had also been a victim at the hands of her ex-husband.

She said: “She didn’t want to go through with the divorce until she had got the assault case out of the way because she was too scared.”

Mrs Munroe also recalled an occasion when Mrs Gallagher was too scared to leave the pub because her husband was waiting outside.

She said: “She was scared that he would kill her because he had beaten her up the previous year and put her in hospital.

“He told her if he went to prison he would get her, whether he was in prison or out, and she believed that he would kill her.

“She was scared - very scared.”

The jury heard earlier that Gallagher had stalked his wife obsessively in the months before her death, and subjected her to a series of violent attacks throughout their marriage.

Miranda Wild, who worked as a barmaid at The Shakespeare pub, where Julie also drank, said on Valentine’s Day last year Gallagher had sat in his car outside in the pub car park for hours.

She said: “He was trying to intimidate her but she put a brave face on and said, ‘I’m not going to let him do it’.”

The trial continues.