Husband jailed for wife's murder
A CHEATING husband has been jailed for life for murdering his wife of 41 years by shooting her dead at the breakfast table.A jury at Ipswich Crown Court yesterday took just over an hour-and-a-half to find John Walker guilty of deliberately killing his wife Glenda, 63, at their home on November 12, 2002.
By Danielle Nuttall
A CHEATING husband has been jailed for life for murdering his wife of 41 years by shooting her dead at the breakfast table.
A jury at Ipswich Crown Court yesterday took just over an hour-and-a-half to find John Walker guilty of deliberately killing his wife Glenda, 63, at their home on November 12, 2002.
Walker, dressed in a grey suit, checked shirt and maroon tie, showed no emotion as the jury foreman stood to return the unanimous guilty verdict.
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The 66-year-old old remained seated and motionless as Judge John Devaux sentenced him to life in prison and ordered him to serve at least 14 years before being considered for parole.
The judge described him as a manipulative and selfish man who had tried to blacken the character of his wife throughout the trial, and blame her for the events that led to her death.
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"You are a manipulative, hypocritical, deceitful and cold hearted man. You are entirely selfish, giving no thought to the actions on your children or grandchildren," the judge said.
"During this trial you have sought to blacken the character of your wife and blame her for the events that culminated in her death.
"By November 2002, your wife could no longer believe your assurances. With divorce inevitable and imminent, Meadow Cottage would be sold and matrimonial assets divided between you, bringing an end to your comfortable life in Bealings.
"With that realisation you calmly went out to your gun cabinet, took out the gun, took one cartridge walked to the room in which your wife sat, loaded the gun and shot her in the chest."
After sentence was passed, the father-of-two wrapped a cream scarf around his neck and picked up a small bag of his belongings before being led down to the cells.
He made no eye contact with his children and family members in the public gallery above, preferring to stare straight down.
Speaking after the case, Dc Jon Moos said: "Obviously this is a family tragedy and it was important the matters were put to a jury. The jury made a decision after what was a fair trial."
Walker, of Lodge Road, Great Bealings, had denied murdering his wife but admitted shooting her.
His defence team argued he should be found guilty of the lesser charge of manslaughter as he was clinically depressed at the time.
During the five-day trial, the court heard that Walker had been having an affair with a woman he had met at ballroom dancing classes.
Mrs Walker had found out about the affair after hiring a private detective and had walked out on her husband twice before asking for a divorce.
Mrs Walker's friend Zena Decker told the jury she had helped the victim set up a hide in the corner of a wood to enable her to listen to Walker as he made phone calls to the other woman on his mobile phone.
Due to the Walker's cottage's isolated position, a mobile phone signal could only be obtained at the end of the lane.
Shortly before the shooting, the couple had a heated argument during which Walker claimed his wife had threatened to take him for all he had in their impending divorce and to publicly disgrace him over an affair he had been having by "dragging his name in the dirt".
Walker had taken a 12-bore single barrelled shotgun from a cabinet in the hall and shot his wife once in the chest at close range, the court was told.
Walker's defence team had argued the defendant was clinically depressed at the time of the shooting.
Consultant psychiatrist Dr Tony Nayani said Walker was suffering from a state of clinical depression when he shot his wife which amounted to an abnormality of the mind which could avail him of a defence of diminished responsibility.
He said that in 18 hours of meetings with Walker he discovered that he had an obsessional personality and ran his life through a series of lists.
A second medical expert, consultant forensic psychiatrist Dr Bohdan Solomka, told the jury Walker had been suffering from anxiety and a "depressive episode" at the time of the incident.
Diana Ellis, QC, urged Judge Devaux to limit the prison sentence to as short as possible due to Walker's poor health.
She told the judge Walker had recently undergone a double coronary bypass grafting and would be on medication for the rest of his life.