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Jilted mum 'tried to kill her ex and best friend' in The Lizard village

By West Briton  |  Posted: November 15, 2012

  • Karen Orchard arriving at Truro Crown Court.

  • Geoffrey Richards and Rosanna Vanhorn leave Truro Crown Court.

  • Geoffrey Richards and Rosanna Vanhorn leave the Truro Crown Court in Cornwall.

  • Karen Orchard arriving at Truro Crown Court. Ref:TRJJ20121113A-001_C

  • Karen Orchard arriving at Truro Crown Court. Ref:TRJJ20121113A-002_C

  • Geoffrey Richards and Rosanna Vanhorn leave the Truro Crown Court in Cornwall.

A JILTED mother tried to run down and kill her former boyfriend and her best friend three times in a jealous rage, a court heard.

Karen Orchard, 40, drove on the pavement and rammed another car in her pursuit of former partner Geoffrey Richards, 41, and Rosanna Vanhorn, 35.

The moment she spotted them getting out of a car in The Lizard village, she swerved her vehicle at them on the pavement.

The terrified pair jumped out of the way and fled to a friend's house. Orchard then rammed their parked car and covered it in paint and dog muck, it was said.

Mr Richards and Ms Vanhorn were unaware of the vandalism and when they came out of their friend's home Orchard drove at them again. They leapt out of the way.

Mr Richards grabbed his girlfriend and the pair fled the scene but Orchard drove at them again – forcing them to hide behind a garage.

He told the court she drove at them three times "as fast as it could go".

At Truro Crown Court Orchard, a mother of two, of Parc an Ithan, The Lizard, denies two counts of attempted murder, two of attempted grievous bodily harm and two of dangerous driving on January 21.

She and Mr Richards were together for more than seven years, until two years ago. He and Ms Vanhorn started seeing each other about a year ago.

Lou Sellick, for the Crown Prosecution Service, said: "At 7.30pm, Geoffrey Richards and Rosanna Vanhorn got out of her car which she parked in The Square at The Lizard village.

"They were going to visit a friend who lived there when they saw the defendant approach them in her car.

"She swerved directly at them, sounding her horn. They jumped out of the way and if they hadn't they would have been run over."

Mr Sellick said that a witness came out of a pub after hearing what sounded like a crash and saw Orchard's car being driven away and rang 999. Paint had been poured over Ms Vanhorn's Peugeot.

Michael Melville-Shreeve, for the defence, said Mr Richards' account was "exaggerated" and "complete nonsense".

Ms Vanhorn told the court: "I have never known her to raise her voice let alone get cross or angry.

"When I saw my car ... my first thought was that it was Karen. It was freezing cold and windy outside so we went into the pub."

She grew concerned for her children at home nearby and went out again, only to be targeted again.

"We kept on running then we came to a gate that was shut and we jumped the gate. I landed on the floor and the car came through the gate.

"I was on the floor when the car went through and the gate ended up on top of me.

"Then the car reversed. I tried to get up but I couldn't get to my feet.

"Then Geoff grabbed me away from the car as it was reversing, I didn't see what happened after that."

The court heard shortly after the attack Orchard sent a text message, later found by the police, to another friend saying: "You were right as usual about that sweet little innocent Rosanna ... I am the third person she has done this to.

"I've been battling cancer for the last 12 weeks ... and my so-called mate's way of showing care is to cosy up with Joff (Mr Richards) knowing full well we still been sleeping together.

"Anyway I just tried to kill them so if you hear the rozzers, that's for me. Wot's left of my heart is trampled and broken but I can cling on."

Mr Richards told the court: " We didn't want to press charges. Karen is a loving, caring, person who behaved wrongly on that night."

The court heard how Orchard had been battling cancer at the time as well as a collapsed lung.

The trial continues.