Love triangle between Alnwick Garden kitchen staff ‘ended in attempted murder’

A love triangle between kitchen staff at a tourist attraction ended in a ‘ferocious’ knife attack when a porter and his brother burst into his lover’s home and stabbed her, a court has heard.

Brett Fenwick, 36, tried to murder Louise Pearce after their five-month love affair was discovered by her long-term partner Gareth Mallaburn.

All three had worked together at Alnwick Garden in Northumberland, where Mr Mallaburn and Fenwick were both kitchen porters.

Jurors heard tensions between Mr Mallaburn and Fenwick suddenly rose after he found out that the mother of his children had been having an affair with his friend.

Brett Fenwick, 36, tried to murder Louise Pearce after their love affair was discovered by her long-term partner Gareth Mallaburn. All three worked together at Alnwick Garden (pictured)

Just after Christmas last year, it is alleged fellow kitchen porter Fenwick and his brother Blaine, 24, went to the home of Miss Pearce and Mr Mallaburn while drunk.

It is claimed they barged into the house and smashed through a bedroom door to get to Mr Mallaburn, who Brett allegedly ended up stabbing in the neck.

The Fenwick brothers deny wounding with intent and knife charges but Brett admitted then trying to murder Miss Pearce in a ‘ferocious’ knife attack.

Prosecutor Mark Giuliani told Newcastle Crown Court: ‘In the early hours of December 27, while drunk, they went to Louise Pearce and Gareth Mallaburn’s home.

‘Each of them was armed with a six-inch bladed knife, they barged into their home and tried to force their way into an upstairs bedroom where Mr Mallaburn had barricaded himself in.

‘He managed to escape from the bedroom but before he could flee he was stabbed to the neck by Brett Fenwick, supported by Blaine Fenwick.

‘Brett then turned his anger towards Louise Pearce, a woman with whom he was having an affair.

‘In a drunken rage he tried to kill her, stabbing her inside the house and on the lawn outside.

‘Louise Pearce was seriously injured and Gareth Mallaburn was stabbed to the neck.’

The court heard Miss Pearce and Mr Mallaburn, who had been together approximately 18 years, lived with their three children in Alnwick.

Bosses at Alnwick Garden (pictured) ensured the love rivals not working on the same day in the pavilion area after learning about what had happened

Bosses at Alnwick Garden (pictured) ensured the love rivals not working on the same day in the pavilion area after learning about what had happened

After the affair was revealed, Miss Pearce had moved out but had then returned and the pair were trying to resolve matters between them, the court was told.

On December 26 last year, Miss Pearce had been out with friends in Alnwick and got home at around 1am. Their children were with their grandparents, the court heard.

The Fenwick brothers had been drinking that night and arrived at their road while ‘loud, drunken and rowdy’, jurors were told.

Mr Giuliani said: ‘They banged on the door and Louise Pearce opened the door. As soon as she did, the defendants forced their way in the house.

‘Gareth Mallaburn was on the landing at the top of the stairs and Brett Fenwick, followed by Blaine Fenwick, ran upstairs shouting at him and he retreated to the bedroom and shut the door. 

‘Mr Mallaburn blockaded himself in the bedroom, leaning on the door and he could feel blows from outside and saw Brett Fenwick’s foot come through.

‘The door was not going to withstand the attack and it shortly completely gave way.’

Mr Mallaburn used a piece of shelving to fend off the brothers and managed to get them downstairs, the court heard.

The brothers began arguing with each other at one point and Mr Mallaburn remarked that he could only listen to one of them at a time.

Mr Giuliani said: ‘Brett Fenwick pulled a knife out, raised it and stabbed Gareth Mallaburn in the neck, saying “you don’t know what I’m capable of, do you want me to kill you, I can do it right now”.’

Mr Mallaburn, who remembered his chest being covered in blood, managed to escape out of the back door.

At that point, Brett Fenwick turned his violence towards Miss Pearce during a ‘ferocious’ attack.

Mr Mallaburn told jurors he had found out about the five-month affair on Bonfire Night after Miss Pearce confessed when he questioned her about his suspicions.

He said: ‘I had considered Brett alright at first, I considered him a friend. After I found out, I was not happy, of course. I was angry, I think anyone would be angry.’

He admitted having previously phoned Brett Fenwick and shouting at him, telling him to stay away from his partner and also sending texts offering to ‘sort this out like men’ on a local cricket field, but said he got no replies.

He said bosses at Alnwick Garden ensured they were not working on the same day in the pavilion area after learning about what had happened.

Of his partner, he said: ‘Me and Louise are a lot stronger now.

‘I gave her a second chance. She was radicalised by lies, she fell into a bit of a love trap but I’ve forgiven her and taken her back. I’ve got three beautiful kids with her and I love the lass so much.’

He added: ‘He was meant to be a friend. Why would he do that to me?’ 

Brett Fenwick, 36, of Alnwick, has pleaded guilty to the attempted murder of Louise Pearce and having a bladed article.

He denies wounding with intent on Mr Mallaburn and having a bladed article on the way to the home.

Blaine Fenwick, 24, denies wounding with intent on Mr Mallaburn and two counts of having a bladed article, one of them on the way to the scene.

When interviewed by police, Brett made no comment while Blaine said Mr Mallaburn had threatened Brett and they decided to go to speak to him and that he was the aggressor and they defended themselves and ran off.

The trial continues.

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