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10 December 2014, 17:20
A Havant pensioner who admitted killing his wife at their home has been locked up for three years.
Peter Beaver, 81, from Havant (Hampshire) has been sentenced today at Winchester Crown Court to three years’ imprisonment after pleading guilty to the manslaughter of his wife Annie on the grounds of diminished responsibility.
Mrs Beaver was 81 when she died on 23 November 2013, after having been fatally stabbed.
Following the sentence, Kerry Maylin, Principal Crown Advocate for the Crown Prosecution Service in Wessex said:
“This is a very sad case where a loving couple who had been married for 60 years could not care any longer for each other due to ill health.
“Peter Beaver had become the carer of his wife Annie, with whom he had two sons and grown-up grand-children. They were well liked by their neighbours.
“Mrs Beaver suffered from diabetes and her condition deteriorated over the years, according to her grand-daughter she had suffered a mini-stroke or heart attack in the recent years, which resulted in her spending most of her time indoors.
“Mr Beaver was described as a caring husband. All who knew them said he did everything for her; he cooked, cleaned, administered her insulin and did the ironing.
"He had even installed a stair lift at his own expense so she could go upstairs to bed. However, Mrs Beaver did not like going upstairs and preferred sleeping on a chair downstairs, this put a stress on the couple as Mr Beaver did not want to leave is wife alone and slept downstairs with her, but did not benefit from a restorative sleep.
“Mr Beaver’s grand-children witnessed how he did not cope very well looking after his wife, as he was seeing his wife’s health getting worse. This took its toll on him as his health had deteriorated in the six months’ prior his wife’s death.
“In the early morning of 23 November, Mr Beaver woke up his son saying that he had killed his wife. Mrs Beaver died from several stab wounds in the chest.
“There is no dispute that Mr Beaver killed his wife. We accepted his guilty plea to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility as we were satisfied after considering medical expert reports that he did not intend to kill his wife or to cause her serious harm.
"The medical reports showed that at the time of the offence, Mr Beaver suffered from an abnormality of mind and as a result would have been unable to exercise any willpower or to control his physical acts. This abnormality of mental functioning would have been caused by his deteriorating health and lack of sleep.
“It is a tragic case as Mr Beaver will have to live now for the rest of his life with something he was unable to prevent, him killing his wife of so many years.
“Our thoughts go with his children and grand-children.’