Havant Man Jailed For Killing Wife Is Freed

24 March 2015, 15:56 | Updated: 24 March 2015, 15:58

An 81-year-old Hampshire man jailed for stabbing his wife of more than 60 years to death has been freed by the Court of Appeal.

Leading judges in London had been urged to show ``mercy'' in the case of dementia sufferer Peter Beaver, who was sentenced to three years imprisonment on December 10 at Winchester Crown Court after pleading guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

Annie Beaver, 82, was found by police at the home she shared with her husband in Sherfield Avenue, Leigh Park, Havant, Hampshire, on November 23, 2013. She died from stab wounds to her chest.

Beaver, who was his wife's carer, watched by video link from prison today as Lord Justice Gross, sitting with two other judges, quashed the jail term and replaced it with a suspended sentence of 24 months.

Lord Justice Gross, who described it as a ``tragic case'', said that at the time the original sentence was passed it was neither wrong in principle or manifestly excessive.

But the court was allowing his sentence appeal on the sole ground of mercy ``in the light of the deterioration in the appellant's condition post-dating the sentence''.

At the time of the killing Beaver was suffering from ``an abnormality of the mind'', as well as sleep deprivation and exhaustion.

The judges imposed a residence order for 12 months and a requirement that Beaver receives mental health care.