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Monday, June 01, 2009, 12:47
A DEPRESSED man stabbed his wife of forty years to death after she told him she was leaving him.
John Johnstone then tried to kill himself, taking more than 100 paracetamol and anti-depressant tablets.
When that did not work the 64-year-old slept on the bed where his wife’s body lay for up to four days, without eating or leaving the house, until his son and daughter-in-law came round and made the grim discovery.
Johnstone, who lived in a maisonette in Ashgate Road, Hucknall, was originally charged with murdering his wife Sandra, 60, but today pleaded guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility at Nottingham Crown Court.
He said he only remembers stabbing her once but a post-mortem showed she had been stabbed seven times to the chest, with a fatal wound to the heart.
Mrs Johnstone also had defence wounds to her hands where she had tried to grab the knife and Johnstone himself has a stab wound to his body and a cut on his face.
The couple had four children and eight grandchildren.
One of their daughters, April said, in a victim impact statement read out to the court: “There is not a day that goes by that I don’t think of her, longing to hear her voice.
“We miss her so much it hurts.”
She added: “Telling my children what their granddad had done was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do.”
His Honour Judge John Milmo QC gave Johnstone a custodial sentence of four years, of which he will serve half, including the time he has already spent in custody.
He would have been sentenced to six years if he had not pleaded guilty.