Bomb expert 'blew up wife's car' in Kent

image captionVictoria Fabian suffered leg injuries in the blast

A former bomb disposal expert blew up his pregnant wife's car in a bid to murder her after she confronted him about an affair, a jury has heard.

Nicholas Fabian, 33, of Highview, Vigo, near Meopham, Kent, denies attempting to murder Victoria Fabian, also 33.

Ms Fabian suffered serious leg injuries in the blast in Vigo on 5 March 2010.

Opening the prosecution, Graham Reeds QC told the court Mr Fabian stole a hand grenade from an Army firing range and used it to booby-trap the car.

The court heard Mr Fabian was a reservist after serving in the Army between 1994 and 2004, and had been called up to complete a tour of Afghanistan in January 2010.

Mr Reeds said: "It is the prosecution case against him that during the course of his weapons training he stole a hand grenade from a firing range in North Yorkshire, and on 5 March last year he used it to booby-trap his wife's car."

Jurors heard Ms Fabian, a nurse at Tonbridge Cottage Hospital, suspected her husband of having an affair with a woman he met through work, called Jackie Phillips.

'Credit card debt'

The court heard that analysis of his mobile phone showed he had sent Ms Phillips a number of texts in the days before the blast including one message that said: "Hello, sexy, I love you so much xxx."

Ms Fabian wrote a letter to her husband confronting him about the suspected affair and also a £1,400 credit card debt she had discovered.

She left the letter for him to read before she returned from her late shift on 4 March.

image captionNicholas Fabian was a reservist in the Army for 10 years

The court heard Mr Fabian had two opportunities to plant the grenade in the car.

He could have put it there on the night of 4 March after his wife had gone to bed, or when he took the dog for a walk the next morning, Mr Reeds said.

Mr Reeds said the family were planning to go out to lunch after dropping Ms Fabian's borrowed Mazda at her mother's house.

She got in the Mazda with her son from a previous relationship, while Mr Fabian got in his own car with their son Harry, who was three, jurors heard.

'Engulfed in flames'

But as Ms Fabian pulled out and started to drive away, there was an explosion during which shrapnel injured her legs and also started a fire in the engine compartment, the court was told.

Mr Reeds said Mr Fabian saw his wife was injured and screaming and pulled her from the car before it was engulfed in flames.

Her eight-year-old son and her unborn child were unharmed, the court heard.

Police searched the scene and found a fly-off lever from an L109 British Army issue explosive grenade near the car, jurors were told.

They also found a grenade safety pin with a length of nylon attached to it, Mr Reeds said.

The court heard that once the car was started, the movement of the wheel would have pulled out the safety pin, released the lever, and primed the grenade to explode as the car pulled away.

Mr Fabian denies attempted murder, causing grievous bodily harm with intent and causing an explosion likely to endanger life.

The trial continues.

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