Gazing at the wedding photo of David Edwards and his new wife Sharon, it is hard to believe that just two months later, David would be dead after being stabbed in the chest with a kitchen knife and his wife would be jailed for life for his murder. A photo, however, can hide a thousand truths.

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After meeting in the summer of 2014, David and Sharon married in Las Vegas in June the following year. It was a wedding that looked happy and contented, except for the black eye and bruising on the groom’s face. 51-year-old David Edwards was a criminal defense lawyer and a partner in a law firm in Chorley in Lancashire, England. He was a well-respected man with a good reputation and plenty of friends who were initially pleased when he found love.

This happiness for their friend soon started to turn to concern when it became apparent his new love had a tendency for violence. It was a whirlwind romance that friends described as ‘turbulent’ reported the Guardian. People began to notice the cuts and the bruises and the feeble excuses David Edwards made to explain them. He was in love and whole-heartedly believed that 42-year-old Sharon Edwards was the woman for him.

According to BBC News, cases of female perpetrators of domestic abuse in the UK are increasing, with figures sitting at a rate six times higher than they were a decade ago. The Mankind Initiative reports that one in three victims of domestic abuse will be male. Furthermore, they report that male victims are over three times more likely than women not to tell anyone about domestic abuse against them.

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On 23 August 2015, David and Sharon Edwards had just returned from a holiday in Spain. David had discovered in the weeks before their trip that he was to be made redundant from his law firm, an event that put pressure on their relationship and one prosecutors would state in court may have been the catalyst for his murder. The night before he was found dead, David and Sharon Edwards went to their local pub and David’s appearance startled many. He had cuts to his head and was visibly bleeding and yet Sharon, his new wife, seemed entirely unconcerned for her husband’s well-being. The police then became involved when the couple began arguing in the street outside of the pub, with Sharon Edwards being the main instigator. The police took the couple home and the following morning David was found dead in their bed.

David Edwards died from a stab wound to his chest made with a kitchen knife from inside their home. Sharon Edwards told police the injuries to her husband were due to him being drunk and falling over. The stab wounds, she claimed, happened after he ‘walked into’ a knife she was holding while they were having an argument about money.

“This case is another in the sad catalogue of violent repressive relationships that seem to rob the victim of their power or ability to stop the violence.”

She claimed she didn’t know how serious his injuries were and maintained she had not intentionally harmed her husband and, he had been stabbed by accident. The police did not believe her story and she was charged with murder. Sharon Edwards went on trial at Manchester Crown Court in February 2016. During the course of her trial, it came out that Sharon had prior convictions for domestic violence against a former partner, a pattern of behaviour which included consistent and ongoing ‘bullying’, facts which did nothing to help her case.

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The stab wound that killed David Edwards was 8 cm deep into his chest, evidence encouraging the prosecution’s argument that the wound was not accidental and not an injury Sharon Edwards could not have been aware of. “I’m going to suggest you knew perfectly well you needed an explanation of why you were holding the knife at the time of your husband’s fatal injury. You were thinking of number one,” the prosecutor told her during her trial. On 8 March 2016, the jury found Sharon Edwards guilty of murder. She was sentenced to life in prison to serve a minimum of 20 years. “You are someone who has attacked people in the past. You have a bullying and violent nature,” the judge told her during sentencing.

This week Sharon Edwards, now 44-years-old, had her permission to appeal against her conviction and her sentence refused by senior judges at the London Court of Appeal. Edwards based her appeal on the same argument she made in court, that her husband walked into the knife she was holding and she had no intent to stab him or wound him. The judges stated there was “no merit whatsoever” in the grounds of her appeal adding in their opinion the murder involved ‘deliberate use’ of a dangerous knife and Sharon Edwards must remain behind bars.