THE jury in the trial of a 65-year-old man accused of attempting to murder his estranged wife at their former matrimonial home will retire to consider their verdicts today.

Bradford Crown Court has heard how Philip Turner attacked his then 66-year-old wife Patricia after she arrived at his house in Edgerton Green, Huddersfield, last March to go on a regular shopping trip with him.

Mrs Turner had married her husband in 1967, but after moving out of the house in 2002 she began divorce proceedings which prosecutor Richard Newbury suggested had led to growing resentment on Turner's part.

Mrs Turner described earlier this week how her husband had hit her with a chair, breaking a bone in her hand, before striking her over the head with a rounders bat as she tried to get out of the house.

She then alleged he tried to strangle her before dragging her into the garage were she was subjected to more violence and threats to kill her.

Following her ordeal she spent 15 days in hospital recovering from blood loss, hypothermia, a broken nose and hand and wounds to her head.

She had also had five teeth knocked out.

The prosecution closed its case against Turner yesterday, but he did not go into the witness box to give evidence and his barrister John Elvidge said he would not be calling any evidence on behalf of his client.

In his closing speech to the jury Mr Elvidge conceded: "On March 21, 2006, Philip Turner attacked his wife and he caused her injuries that have been recorded in the medical notes."

But Mr Elvidge asked the jury to consider why Mrs Turner had not died if, as the prosecution alleged, his client had been plotting for months to kill her.

"The prosecution must prove that Mr Turner intended to kill his wife. Nothing less," stressed Mr Elvidge.

"You've got to look at all of the evidence when you are inferring what this man was about and what he intended.

"It's a curious feature, you may think, of this case that if the prosecution is correct that this was a plot to kill formulated over many months ... it was so ineptly performed over such a long period of time.

"How easy it would have been having someone at your mercy for eight to nine hours utterly defenceless," he added.

Mr Elvidge questioned whether the incident of alleged strangulation had taken place.

He argued that Mrs Turner was not on the brink of death or even very close to it when the ambulance arrived at the house.

The jury has seen extracts from Turner's diaries in which he wrote entries relating to killing his wife, but Mr Elvidge invited not to assume that what he had written reflected his intentions.

Summing up the Crown's case Mr Newbury told the jury that Turner had subjected his wife to several episodes of brutal violence during her nine-hour ordeal.

He said the evidence suggested she had been attacked seven times that day and he emphasised that Turner had not made any earlier attempts to seek assistance for her.

"This lady in all that distress and with all that fear and anxiety and he's standing in the garage smoking a cigar and letting ash drop on the blood of his wife. What sort of picture does that portray?" asked Mr Newbury.

"What was he waiting for? He was waiting for her to die, but mercifully she did not."

Turner did eventually telephone the emergency services, but Mr Newbury described his unsolicited remarks to the operator as a plain admission of what he was doing that day.

During the call Turner, who later handed himself in to the police, twice told the operator: "I've tried to kill my wife."

He also wrote in his diary on the day of the attack: "Pat came up at 9.45. Had a row. Snapped. Couldn't carry out what was going to do. Life now destroyed."

Turner has pleaded not guilty to a charge of attempted murder as well as an alternative allegation of wounding his wife with intent to do her grievous bodily harm.

He has also denied further charges of false imprisonment and making threats to kill her.