Wife Convicted of Shotgun Murder

30 March 2010, 15:04 | Updated: 30 March 2010, 15:07

A woman from the Isle of Wight, who blasted her husband to death with a shotgun because she claimed he was making her life hell due to his drinking, has been found guilty of murder.

Helen Lawson, 62, fired both barrels into the chest and abdomen of her husband, Geoffrey, at point-blank range as he lay on their marital bed. He died instantly. Lawson showed no emotion as the verdict was delivered at Winchester Crown Court. The jury rejected her defence that she had killed Mr Lawson through diminished responsibility.

During the seven-day trial, the jury heard that three-times married Lawson "snapped'' and took the Beretta gun from the cabinet in their Isle of Wight home, went upstairs, put the light on, called her husband's name so he woke up and then shot him.

The 61-year-old shouted "oh, Helen, no'' as she fired. She then dropped the weapon at the foot of the bed and went downstairs and dialled 999 on January 4 last year, telling the operator it was no accident. The court heard that Lawson was a keen clay pigeon shooter and had a licence for two guns.

When told by police her husband was dead, Lawson said ``good'', Nicholas Haggan QC, prosecuting, told the jury.

Mr Justice Sweeney told Lawson the only sentence he could pass was a life sentence.

The case was adjourned until Tuesday afternoon when the judge will give the minimum term she must serve before she can apply for parole.