Wife, 59, is jailed for life for murdering her husband by pouring boiling syrup over him as he slept amid allegations he sexually abused her children
A wife has been jailed for life for pouring a mix of boiling water and sugar over her husband as he slept after she heard allegations he had sexually abused her children.
Corinna Smith, 59, attacked her 80-year-old husband Michael Baines while he slept at their home in Wirral, Cheshire, on July 14 last year.
She left her husband of 38 years with 36 per cent burns to his body after she combined boiling water with three bags of sugar and poured it over him.
Mr Baines suffered from extensive burns and despite the best efforts of medical staff, he died five weeks later in hospital on August 18.
Smith, also known as Corinna Baines, was jailed for life with a minimum of 12 years today after being found guilty of murder following a trial at Chester Crown Court.
The day before the attack took place, Smith was described as angry and very upset at a rumour circulating about her husband that she believed to be true.
Corinna Smith (pictured), 59, has been jailed for life after pouring boiling water and sugar over her husband Michael Baines, 80, at their home in Wirral, Cheshire, on July 14 last year
The court heard on Friday that Smith had been told by her daughter about ‘devastating’ allegations that her husband had sexually abused her son and daughter ‘for many years’, according to the Liverpool Echo.
Her son Craig reportedly took his own life in 2007 after being troubled before his death and going to prison for an assault. He had told his mother the man he attacked was a ‘paedophile’ who abused him ‘sexually’.
On the day of the incident, Smith, who was also her husband’s carer, returned home and filled a bucket from her garden with boiling water and mixed it with nearly 7lbs of sugar.
As Mr Baines lay asleep in bed, she poured the contents over his arms and torso and then left the property.
She went to a nearby house and banged on the front door until the occupant answered. He called the police and an ambulance after hearing her say: ‘I’ve hurt him really bad, I think I’ve killed him.’
A short time later officers arrived at the address. They found Mr Baines in excruciating pain and whimpering in bed with the skin on his right arm and hand peeling off.
Police said the pensioner was rushed to Whiston Hospital in the early hours of July 14 last year in a serious condition.
He remained in the burns unit for two weeks in a stable condition before he deteriorated and passed away on August 18.
Following the incident, Smith was initially charged with grievous bodily harm but shortly after the death of her husband she was charged with murder.
Smith was sentenced to life imprisonment and ordered to serve a minimum of 12 years behind bars on Friday. She had argued manslaughter due to loss of control, but a jury found her guilty of murder last month.
She left her husband of 38 years with 36 per cent burns to his body after she combined boiling water with three bags of sugar and poured it over him, Chester Crown Court (pictured) heard
Judge Amanda Yip, QC, said: ‘You found it difficult to take everything in, but made the connection between what Craig had said the day before he died and what your daughter was telling you.
‘You were understandably very upset. You were described as being livid and fuming at the thought of what had been done to your children.’
Mark Rhind, QC, said: ‘The prosecution case is that her actions were deliberate and considered, that whilst she would obviously have been very upset and distressed about what she had heard, the evidence will demonstrate that she was in control and acted in anger and to extract vengeance for what she believed that Michael had done.
‘We say that she intended either to kill Michael or to cause him really serious harm and so she is guilty of murder.’
Jayne Morris of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) previously said that Smith had killed Mr Baines in a ‘particularly brutal and painful way’.
Detective Chief Inspector Paul Hughes, from Cheshire Constabulary, said: ‘Smith killed her husband Michael in such a painful and cruel way.
‘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.
‘The sugar placed into the water makes it vicious. It becomes thicker and stickier and sinks into the skin better.
‘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.
‘Michael was an elderly man who fought for his life after the attack but sadly in the end he passed away.’