'We're just using him': Disabled man's wife and her 'lover' used him as 'cash cow slave'
Sarah Somerset-How swapped messages George Webb where she wrote of wanting to ‘murder’ cerebral palsy sufferer husband Tom Somerset-How, a jury in Porstmouth were told.
The wife of a disabled man texted his carer and alleged lover to say they they were “just using him” before boasting of using his money to buy drugs, a court has heard.
Sarah Somerset-How, 49, swapped messages with George Webb, 50, in which she wrote of wanting to “murder” cerebral palsy sufferer Tom Somerset-How, a jury was told.
Webb and Somerset-How allegedly “enslaved” Mr Somerset-How, 40, barely keeping him alive as they spent his money while treating him “like a piece of property”.
Webb allegedly told Somerset-How to “get rid” of her husband, while the pair are accused of embarking on an affair and using Mr Somerset-How as a “cash cow” to buy drugs.
Texts between Webb and Somerset-How, sent between 2016 and 2020, were read to the jury at Portsmouth Crown Court, in which they referred to Mr Somerset-How as a “rat”.
In one exchange the court heard Webb congratulated Somerset-How for “not hitting” her husband, to which she replied: “I could have murdered him, I was so close to hitting him.”
In April 2016, Webb texted: "Get rid of him. Go find yourself a man. I think you need to leave Tom and get your life back."
Somerset-How replied: "He used to be fun."
In January 2019, Webb texted her: "Tom is a rat. Get it sorted, he is a worm and a rat. Now I know about all the other carers leaving. I'm backing off both of you."
In February 2020, Webb said he had “started to hate” Mr Somerset-How.
To this, Somerset-How replied: "Me too. Remember, we are just using him. D******d gets paid soon so I will take money out of his account for weed."
The court previously heard that while the pair spent money Mr Somerset-How had been given by relatives, the “intelligent” history graduate with cerebral palsy was left as a “prisoner in his own home”.
The pair allegedly left wheelchair-bound Mr Somerset How – who is almost blind and needs 24-hour care – in bed for long periods, allowed him a shower once a week and went for a whole year without brushing his teeth.
For food he would be left with only a packet of crisps and a sandwich, the court was told, while the pair carried out their plan to “ostracise” him from his family.
The jury was told that eventually Mr Somerset-How managed to raise the alarm about how he was being treated with a friend who alerted his parents.
They then staged a rescue with police and social services, “an operation that had the marks of extracting someone as a hostage”, the court heard.
Somerset-How and Webb are charged with holding a person in slavery, fraud, theft and ill-treatment by a care worker.
Live-in-carer Webb faces an additional charge of actual bodily harm against Mr Somerset-How after an incident where he is accused of hitting him with a shoe.
Somerset-How and Webb deny the charges.
The trial continues.