Rena Salmon found guilty of murder

Jury told of Lorna's pregnancy after the verdict as judge says that life is the only possible sentence

The Old Bailey Jury has found Rena Salmon guilty of the murder of Lorna Stewart. Mrs Salmon shot her husbandís girlfriend twice in, what was then, Equilibrium on the Chiswick High Road last September.

Mrs Salmon had pleaded not guilty to murder on the grounds of diminished responsibility however, her defence was unable to convince the jury that her depression after the break down of her marriage was a contributing factor to her actions. She was told by Judge Neil Dension that the only possible sentence, given the verdict, was life.

Before the jury adjourned, Judge Neil Denison advised them to put aside any sympathy and decide on the basis of the evidence, using common sense, whether the case was one of murder or manslaughter. He added people often went though a period of "intense unhappiness" when marriages broke up and many felt "justifiable anger" towards the person they considered responsible, but "very rarely" did they kill that person.

Floral tributes outside the shop where the shooting occurred

Peter Clarke QC, prosecuting, disclosed to the jury after the verdict that Lorna had been two months pregnant when she was shot. Salmon did not know Lorna was pregnant so it was ruled to be inadmissible as evidence.

DI Steve Morris of the Specialist Crime Directorate West said: "This whole episode has been a tragedy for all of the families concerned and the impact on them cannot be overstated; after all, we have four children of school age without a mother, but I believe that the jury has come to the right decision."

He added that the murder had been planned for some days and Salmon gave no thought to the welfare of Lorna's children. Whilst accepting the fact that she had had a disturbed childhood he said that it was wrong for her to use this as a defence for the pre-meditated and cold-blooded murder of Lorna Stewart. He extended the sympathies of the Met. to all the families concerned in this tragedy.

When the verdict was delivered Salmon was silent. Her defence said she felt profound and genuine remorse and had been suffering from severe depression. She has reportedly attempted to take her own life twice since learning of her husband's affair with Ms. Stewart.

Salmon's solicitor Tan Ikram said: "She is strong. "Her main concern is for the families who have been touched by this tragedy."

He added that she was considering an appeal against the verdict.

May 16, 2003

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