UK: Old lady kills her husband for being verbally abusive


The seventy-three-year-old killed her controlling eighty-one-year-old husband when he smiled, and She confronted him over the latest in a long line of financial crises.

On Thursday, Seventy-three-year-old Janet Dunn was jailed for five years and three months when she pleaded guilty to manslaughter by diminished responsibility.


Newcastle crown court ruled that Dunn was quiet and shy. Her 81-year-old husband, Anthony, was very verbally abusive. He was a liar and used to make false promises which he never kept.

This year in March, Dunn confronted her husband about the family’s financial crisis, risking the recovery of their home. When seventy-three-year-old Janet Dunn told her husband, Anthony, they had to borrow some money from one of their daughters in the back, her husband smiled.

Judge Paul Sloan QC, the recorder of Newcastle, said, “After decades of compliance and submission, the smile finally caused you to snap. The anger and frustration you had repressed for years boiled over.”

The court heard that Dunn put a pillow on her husband’s face and kept it there for at least two minutes. After making sure he was dead, she rushed to the house and drove to a nearby beauty spot where she attempted suicide.

The elder daughter found her father dead at their family home in Ponteland, Northumberland and dialled 999.

John Elvidge QC, defending, said it was an extraordinary case. “The facts and the background are unfortunate and distressing”. In addition, he said that despite everything, Dunn did love her husband.


The Psychiatric record of Dunn suggested she was going through an abnormality of mental functioning, which was a consequence of the traumatic relationship with her Eighty one-year-old husband, Anthony.

The court heard the couple’s daughter would often loan money to her parents and not get it back.

It was a horrifying `case, “Our thoughts remain with his family as they continue to come to terms with this tragic incident. This guilty plea will spare them a trial and the added stress that can bring.” said Det Ch Insp Matt Steel, of Northumbria police

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