Real Life

REAL LIFE: My wife tried to kill me but I still love her

She did the unthinkable but I don’t blame her at all.

By As told to Take 5

Ray Weatherall, 53, shares his true life story;

I put down the chainsaw and took off my protective gloves and goggles.
"I'm taking a break," I told my son Sam, 26.
I'm a tree surgeon and I was helping him fell a tree near the local marina.
I took out some cigarette papers and my tobacco and had just started rolling myself a cigarette when there was an almighty crack.
Blood started pouring out of my nostrils.
"Oh my God, Dad!" Sam screamed.
He lost it, running around screaming and shouting.
Earlier, I'd found out I had brain cancer and four tumours were in my head.
We both presumed that one of them had popped or something.
But then I felt a hole in my cheek.
"I've been shot," I said, frowning in confusion.
The shock was masking any pain.
We looked around but couldn't see anyone with a gun.
Sam drove me to hospital where it was confirmed that a bullet was lodged in my left jaw.
"I don't know how but your bone is still intact," the doctor said shaking his head in wonder.
"Normally it would be shattered."
A pathologist later concluded that if the bullet had deviated by even half a centimetre it would have hit my brain and I'd have died.
I lay in the hospital bed and was pleased to see my wife, Hayley, run in.
"Ray, are you ok?" she cried, taking my hand.
"Oh you know me, I'm like a cat with nine lives," I joked.
Me and my son, Sam.
Apart from the brain tumours, there had been other weird things happening to me of late.
Just recently my swimming pool heater had exploded leaving me with second degree burns.
Now someone had tried to shoot me with a .22 hunting rifle.
Hayley went pale and started messaging furiously on her phone. I presumed she was telling our family and friends that I was ok.
A few days later, I was allowed home.
My best friend Glenn Pollard, 49, popped round.
"You're a tough old bugger, aren't you?" he joked, slapping me on the back.
Life went back to normal after that, or as normal as life can be when you have a terminal illness.
I felt very grateful to have Hayley in my life.
We'd been together for six years before we got married.
Our wedding was the best day of my life.
Hayley was a vision in her black dress which complemented her gorgeous tattoos down her arm.
Not long after our wedding, I received my devastating cancer diagnosis.
At the time I was given just 18 months to live.
Hayley was distraught.
Her first husband had died from cancer so when I was diagnosed with it too it was a massive blow.
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"Babe," she said. "I don't know how I'm going to deal with this. I can't lose another husband to cancer."
I vowed to fight it and soon months turned into years with me still going strong.
Two months after the shooting, I was at home when police came to see me.
"Your wife has been arrested," an officer said.
"What?" I cried, shocked. "What for?"
The officer shifted uncomfortably from foot to foot.
"For your attempted murder," he said.
I shook my head.
"You're crazy, Hayley would never do that," I said, but they told me to sit down and the whole sordid story unfolded.
They told me that Hayley and Glenn had been having an affair.
"But he's my best friend," I said.
I couldn't take it all in. I wanted to see her but I wasn't allowed to.
It wasn't until the case went to trial that I discovered all the details of what had gone on.
Hayley, 32, had grown frustrated that my brain tumours weren't killing me.
She swapped naked pictures with Glenn on WhatsApp and together they dreamt up ways to "get rid" of me.
At first, they thought of poisoning me with laurel tree leaves or cyanide.
Then they tried to blow me up in my own home.
Hayley and me.
I gasped when I heard that - the swimming pool heater!
Then Glenn told Hayley to crush sleeping pills into my food and when I was asleep inject me with a lethal dose of insulin but she backed out.
Eventually, Glenn persuaded his own daughter Heather, 19, who we had to call Arthur after she transitioned into a boy, to shoot me.
Glenn owned firearms so he gave her the gun to do it.
It was so shocking to hear. I liked Heather. She called me Uncle Ray.
Even after the shooting failed to get rid of me, Hayley and Glenn continued to plot.
Shortly after visiting me in hospital, she had sent a text to Glenn saying: They didn't do a very good job did they? He's still here.
I heard in court that after the marina attack, they planned to take me out on our boat Blue Oggy and throw me overboard.
The judge Adele Williams said, "This was cruelty of high degree. Cold, calculated and chilling cruelty. Each of you plotted and planned to kill him with determination and persistence. The extent of the planning, preparation and the extreme lengths to which each of you was prepared to go is staggering."
She called Hayley a "manipulative and selfish person" who was impatient for me to die.
Hayley was sentenced to conspiracy to murder and jailed for 15 years.
The other two got 17 years.
Heather Pollard (known as Arthur) was sentenced to 17 years.
I watched my wife sobbing as the sentencing was read out and my heart went out to her.
I knew she'd been brainwashed by Glenn.
He wanted her for himself.
Why couldn't they have waited? I'm going to die soon.
They could have just told me they were having an affair.
They didn't have to try to kill me. I've lost my wife, my best friend, and for what?
I wish I was going to be here long enough to have her back in my home where she belongs.
I know people will think I'm crazy to forgive her.
If I was looking at it from the outside I'd be saying lock them up and throw away the key.
But I'd rather Hayley wasn't locked up at all.
After all that's happened, I still love her.
It might sound like a silly thing to say, but it's my choice, not anyone else's.
Love is a funny thing. I love Hayley, I always have and always will.
I will go out of this world with her in my heart.
It's never going to change.

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