A59-year-old woman in the U.K., who poured a mix of boiling water and sugar over her husband as he slept, has been sentenced to life imprisonment.
Corinna Smith attacked her then-81-year-old husband, Michael Baines, while he was in bed at their home in Highfield Road in Neston, Cheshire, on July 14 last year, the BBC reported. Baines died in a hospital five weeks following the incident after suffering extensive burns.
Smith was found guilty in June by a jury at Chester Crown Court of murdering her husband of 38 years. She will serve a minimum of 12 years in prison before parole can be considered.
Prior to the incident, Smith was described as angry and upset over a rumour circulating about Baines that she believed to be true.
Smith reportedly filled a bucket from her garden with boiling water and mixed it with 3 kilograms (6.6 pounds) of sugar before pouring the mixture over her husband’s arms and torso while he was asleep.
She left their property and went to a nearby house, where she banged on the front door until the occupant answered. The neighbour contacted police and an ambulance after hearing her say, “I’ve hurt him really bad, I think I’ve killed him.”
“To throw boiling water over someone when they are asleep is absolutely horrific. To also mix three bags of sugar with the water showed the determination she had to cause serious harm,” Detective Chief Inspector Paul Hughes was quoted as saying by the BBC.
He continued, “It left Michael in agony and rather than call the emergency services she wasted time by going to a house nine doors away to tell a neighbour, who she wasn’t close to, what she had done.”
The Chester Crown Court heard that the woman was told by her daughter she and her late brother were allegedly sexually abused by Baines “for many years when they were children,” Liverpool Echo reported.
Her son, Craig, took his own life in 2007 after going to prison for an assault, according to the report. Craig allegedly told his mother that the man he attacked was a “paedophile” who had “touched him sexually.”
Smith earlier contested a trial, arguing manslaughter due to loss of control. However, her argument was weakened because the attack needed planning to carry out and it took her 13 minutes to boil the water, fill the bucket and pour sugar onto it, prosecutors said.
According to prosecutors, the sugar with the water “made the liquid more viscous, thicker and stickier, so that it stays on the skin and causes greater damage and that is exactly what it did.” Before he died, Baines suffered burns to 36% of his body and underwent surgery and skin grafts at the Whiston Hospital.
“We say that she intended either to kill Michael or to cause him really serious harm and so she is guilty of murder,” prosecutor Mark Rhind stated.