Needham Market: Man Sentenced Over Wife's Death

An Ipswich man has today been detained following the death of a woman in Needham Market.

The body of 60-year-old Ruth Jacobs was found in Needham Lake on the morning of Sunday 20th February 2011. A post mortem examination found that she died from drowning.

Her husband, Stephen Jacobs, a 60-year-old man from Spinner Close in Ipswich, was arrested by police on the same day. In February he appeared at Ipswich Crown Court and pleaded guilty to the charge of manslaughter with diminished responsibility. He appeared at the same court today for sentencing and was detained under Section 37 of the Mental Health Act.

The judge said: "Your wife died by drowning in shallow water. You admitted pushing her in knowing she could not swim."

He added it was clear Jacobs suffered from a "serious psychiatric disorder'' but was unlikely to pose a risk to the public unless he formed a new relationship with a vulnerable person.

Detective Chief Inspector John Brocklebank who led the investigation said:

"Ruth's death was a tragic crime and our sympathies remain with her family and friends. Crimes of this severity remain a rare occurrence in Suffolk but inevitably cause concern in the local community. This particular case was an isolated and contained incident involving a husband and wife, with no threat to the wider community. Nevertheless it resulted in a lengthy investigation by the Norfolk and Suffolk Joint Major Investigation Team and I would like to thank all the staff who contributed to this enquiry."

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