A Hale man who slit his terminally-ill wife’s throat in a suicide pact has been cleared of her murder.
Graham Mansfield, 74, said he killed Dyanne Mansfield, 71, at their semi-detached property in Canterbury in an “act of love” months after she asked him to take her life “when things get bad for me”.
Mansfield, a retired airport baggage handler, told Manchester Crown Crown they were the “saddest words he had ever heard” but agreed to the request request as long as he could kill himself as well.
And today a jury of 10 men and two women took an hour and a half to find Mansfield guilty of manslaughter, but not guilty of murder.
Dyanne Mansfield was discovered with fatal injuries in a chair at the bottom of the garden of her home on March 24th 2021. Three knives and a lump hammer were found close to her body.
Her husband, meanwhile, was found lying in a pool of blood.
Emergency services discovered the scene after Mansfield dialled 999 and told the operator he had killed his wife of 40 years at 9pm the previous day, before trying to commit suicide.
Police found a plastic wallet containing a note written by the defendant, which said: “We have decided to take our own lives.” It also gave details of how to find his house keys and contact his sister.
Another note written by Mansfield, addressed to his family, was found in an envelope in the house.
It read: “We are sorry to burden you with this but there is no other way. We made a pact that when it got too bad for Dyanne we would end it.
“I couldn’t bear to live without Dyanne and as the months progressed and as things got worse, it only reinforced our decision that the time has arrived. We hope you all understand.”
Mr Justice Goose, at Manchester Crown Court, said it was an “unusual case” and sentenced him to two years in prison, suspended for two years.
He said: “The circumstances of this case are a tragedy for you and are exceptional in the experiences of this court.
“You were under immense emotional pressure. I am entirely satisfied that you acted out of love for your wife.”