Their relationship was said to have become strained in the weeks leading up to her death as she was disappointed with how little he was doing around the house and farm. Mrs Garnett was twice seen to slap Wilkinson across the face during arguments.
On the day of the killing, she had been out shooting with her sons, returning home at around 8.30pm.
Wilkinson made an emergency call to the police at 8.43pm, in which he admitted shooting Mrs Garnett and said he wanted to hand himself in. In his police interview, he told officers that Mrs Garnett had returned home and accused him of being “lazy, thick and cruel” before telling him to move out and throwing his shotgun into the attic room. He said he remembered loading and firing the gun before realising what he had done, making the gun safe and calling the police.
Mr Mansell said Wilkinson’s version of events did not “stand up to scrutiny” and suggested that “the killing was more likely a premeditated shooting, perhaps an act of revenge for the wrong she had done to him in telling him to pack his bags and leave”.
The trial continues.