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‘17-year-old’s abortion caused families’ split’
8:10am Wednesday 24th March 2010 in News
THE abortion of a 17-year-old girl sparked a split between two families which led to murder on Hartlebury Common, near Stourport, a jury heard.
Tracy Carpenter said the girl, who she fostered, had been in “a happy-go-lucky” relationship with Shane Price before she got pregnant.
But after the termination, she claimed Shane’s mother Eileen Price threatened to kill the teenager if she continued her love affair.
Mrs Carpenter said the teenagers met in secret, but her son Joe Carpenter saw the lovers coming out of a scrapyard.
Shane Price then accused Joe of “grassing him up” over the continuing romance and Mrs Price wanted them both to fight, she claimed in evidence at Worcester Crown Court yesterday.
Joe Carpenter, aged 19, of Park Crescent, Stourport, has pleaded guilty to the murder of 19-year-old Shane Price, of Broach Road, Stourport.
He has also admitted wounding Eileen Price, 42.
Paul Carpenter, 55, and Tracy Carpenter, 46, both of Park Crescent, deny murder and wounding.
Mrs Carpenter cried throughout most of her evidence in the witness box.
At one stage, a screen was pulled across to shield her from the public gallery. But after legal arguments the screen was removed.
The judge told the jury the law did not permit defendants to give evidence from behind a screen.
Mrs Carpenter insisted that her family went to the common on February 13 last year unarmed, believing they were going to sort out problems by talking.
But she claimed the Price family was armed with two knives, a bar and a meat cleaver.
She recalled Mrs Price allegedly saying to Shane: “You kill him (Joe) and I’ll kill her.”
Mrs Carpenter said: “I remember a feeling of panic, then Eileen got me on the floor. She was on top of me, attacking me.”
The defendant, married for 26 years and a local authority foster carer, said Mrs Price struck out with a knife which hit her hand.
She alleged Mrs Price also banged her head on the ground and stamped between her legs.
After a blow on the head from an unseen attacker, she managed to get to the family Land Rover, bleeding heavily.
She refused to let her husband take her to hospital because she feared the Price family would “get me again”.
The trial continues.