Husband stabbed by hysterical wife

Judge Anthony Russell QC
Judge Anthony Russell QC
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A WIFE who reached the end of her tether caring for her husband with dementia ended up stabbing him. Anne Baines attacked 75-year-old husband Jim, stabbing him four times – once through the lung.

A WIFE who reached the end of her tether caring for her husband with dementia ended up stabbing him. Anne Baines attacked 75-year-old husband Jim, stabbing him four times – once through the lung.

The attack took place in the toilet of the couple’s Thornton home.

An hysterical Baines, 68, who had been married to her husband for 45 years rang 999 and screamed at the operator “I’ve stabbed him. I have done it now”.

She then asked for an ambulance to go to their home on Sandyforth Avenue.

Mr Baines was treated at Blackpool Victoria hospital where he later recovered from his injuries.

His wife told police: “If Jim was not here he would be in Heaven and I would get what I deserve.”

She added in interview that she was not sleeping properly and had decided she had to do something.

Baines said: “I wasn’t any good to Jim. He deserved better. He’d probably be better off without me.

“I just felt I could not cope with his dementia.”

She added: “I intended him to be better off. He was in a bad state and I thought it was me that was causing it”.

Baines pleaded guilty to a charge of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

The incident took place on August 20 last year.

Sarah Booth, defending, said friends and family used words like ‘respected, honest, caring and gentle’ to describe the defendant.

In the opinion of a clergyman, she must have been goaded to breaking point, Miss Booth added.

“This is an exceptional case,” she said.

“She has been supported throughout by her son and daughter and a large number of family who have come to court to show their support.”.

“Mrs Baines has expressed, almost from the outset, a desire to be reconciled. It is their ultimate intention.

“It seems Mrs Baines has been largely feeling her inability to cope was somehow an inadequacy on her part, rather than the overwhelming circumstances she found herself in.

“She seemed to have been lost in a haze feeling so desperate that she took this step without even the conscious knowledge of what she was doing”.

Baines was given a sentence of 51 weeks’ prison, suspended for two years, with two years’ supervision.

In passing sentence, Judge Anthony Russell QC said: “In my judgment, it is a wholly exceptional case.

“It should not be regarded as setting any precedent for other offences of wounding, the use of a weapon or dealing with people of such an age and character.”

Judge Russell told Baines what she had done was “wrong and wicked”.

There had been difficulties in the marriage and her health suffered as a result.

The judge added: “Anyone who has any experience or knowledge of dealing with mental health problems of this kind knows the burden becomes increasingly intolerable for those who have to live with it.”

He said the incident would not have happened, but for the exceptional strain Baines was put under.

Since then, the court was told, provision had been made for the support the family needed.