Equilibrium Case Continues With Emotional Scenes In Court

The estranged husband of the accused gives his evidence

Rena Salmon

As the Old Bailey trial of Rena Salmon continues, it was the turn of Paul Salmon to give evidence against his estranged wife who stands accused of murdering his new partner, Lorna Stewart.

As Mr Salmon spoke of the events of the tragic day, he broke down in tears. He told the court how he received a message from Rena Salmon that said "I have just shot Lorna. It's not a joke." It came just minutes after he had finished chatting with Lorna about what they would do that evening.

As soon as he heard the message, Mr Salmon told the court that he drove straight to Chiswick whilst frantically telephoning Mrs Salmon asking her "What have you done?" to which she replied "I shot Lorna." A number of calls followed, throughout which Rena Salmon, according to her husband, remained "calm and collected". It transpired that Rena Salmon had remained at the Equalibrium Salon on the Chiswick High Road and had made no attempt to flee from the scene of the crime.

Floral tributes outside the shop where the shooting occured

Paul Salmon went on to explain, during cross examination, that his marriage had been faltering before he met Lorna Stewart. He told how they had met when they became neighbours and, after time, their friendship deepened into a romantic affair. In January of last year they left their respective partners and children to set up home together.

The court also heard from Equalibrium’s Book-keeper, Lindsay Rees, who witnessed the shooting. She told the Old Bailey jury how Rena Salmon entered the basement of the building and held a "calm and controlled" conversation with Lorna Stewart before shooting her.

Ms Rees relayed the dialogue she heard in which Lorna Stewart said "Hello, Rena, have you come to shoot me?"

Rena Salmon replied “Yes”. Ms Rees described both women’s manner as “extremely calm” saying that neither women moved or raised their voices at any time.

When Lorna asked “What about the children?” Rena replied “Your children are in Australia.”

Lorna then asked her “What about your children?” Rena said “They will be looked after by Paul”.

It was at this point the first shot was fired and Lindsay Rees fled from the basement telling the builders to leave the building quickly. As she fled, she heard a second shot.

Rena Salmon has pleaded not guilty to murdering Lorna Stewart in September last year. The case continues.

May 9, 2003

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