On Friday (July 9), the Chester Crown Court in the UK sentenced a 59-year-old woman named Corinna Smith to life imprisonment for murdering her husband with a boiling liquid last year. The woman had attacked her husband after learning that he had sexually abused their children. She has to serve 12 years in prison before being eligible for parole.
As per reports, the accused woman learnt from her daughter that her 80-year-old husband Michael Baines sexually abused her children in their formative years. Smith was taken aback and decided to teach her husband a lesson. On July 14 last year, she boiled two kettles of water and poured them into a bucket containing 3 bags of sugar. The accused went to the bedroom of the house, where her husband was in deep sleep. She then proceeded to pour the boiling mixture of sugar and water on him. The incident took place in Neston near Liverpool in the United Kingdom.
The woman’s husband, Michael Baines, suffered burns to 36% of his body. He was later admitted to the Whiston Hospital Burns Unit, where his condition was stabilised in the ICU. The thick, sticky and viscous nature of the sugar-water mixture caused tremendous damage to the skin of Baines. In all, he spent a total of 5 weeks in hospital before succumbing to the injuries on August 18, 2020. Reportedly, the woman had a son by the name of Craig who committed suicide in 2007. Prior to his death, he was in a state of distress and had attacked been to prison for assault.
Planning and Execution of the Crime
Craig had confided in his mother that the person he assaulted was a paedophile, who had sexually abused him. When Corinna Smith learnt from her daughter that Baines used to abuse Craig and her, she sought to take revenge from her husband. During the trial last month, Smith had contested the murder charge and argued in favour of manslaughter due to loss of control. However, the jury had found her guilty of murder for the meticulous planning (boiling two kettles of water for 13 minutes).
It was also noted that the accused wasted time in contacting the neighbour 7 houses away instead of contacting the ambulance directly. Nevertheless, the neighbour called in the ambulance after the accused confided in him that she might have killed her husband. He had also rung the police and waited until the officers arrived. The police discovered Baines in extreme pain in his bedroom. “I am badly burned. I’m burned all over. She poured boiling water all over me. I just want to die,” he said while being taken to the hospital.
Proceedings in the Chester Crown Court
Queen’s Counsel Mark Rhind noted, “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.”
Detective Chief Inspector Paul Hughes 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…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.”