Wife murderer loses appeal

THE distraught family of a mother brutally murdered by her husband as their children slept upstairs has spoken of their relief after the killer lost his bid for freedom.

THE distraught family of a mother brutally murdered by her husband as their children slept upstairs has spoken of their relief after the killer lost his bid for freedom.

Judges in London's Court of Appeal took less than an hour yesterday to throw out Colin Dorey's appeal against his life sentence for the murder of his wife, Christine, 37, in January 2002.

The court heard how Dorey, 45, struck his wife's skull seven times with a hammer and then a three further times around the jaw in a frenzied attack as she slept at their home in Bedell Close, Bury St Edmunds.

He was convicted at Ipswich Crown Court in August 2002 but took advantage of a legal loophole to appeal - claiming the judge in the initial trial had not fully briefed the jury on his defence of provocation.

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But a three-man bench, headed by Lord Justice Judge, rejected the appeal, to the relief of Mrs Dorey's family and police officers involved in the case.

After the hearing, Mrs Dorey's family told of their own life sentence following the brutal killing.

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A spokesman for the family said: "We have had two-and-a-half years of this appeal hanging over us.

"Our lives and that of the children are always going to be affected by his actions that night.

"While we strive to maintain some sense of normality, reality is never far away from the surface. We, the family, have been given a life sentence with no chance of appeal or a reduced sentence.

"The result of this appeal is the only one there could have been. We find it hard enough to understand the events of that night, and are thankful that we do not have to explain the term provocation to the children.

"The bottom line is he murdered their mum, and is serving a life sentence for the crime."

The family also attacked Dorey's right to appeal, and described the judiciary system as "hard to comprehend."

The spokesman added: "Is it not enough that he killed Christine that we now have to watch in silence as further assaults are made upon her? To have to watch while his rights are upheld, and our daughter's rights not considered, has been frustrating. Throughout she has had no representation and no redress to any accusations.

"It is only through the children that she leaves a legacy of love and caring beyond that which has ever been portrayed in his defence."

Patricia Lynch, QC, for Dorey, told the court he had become a "pressure cooker" after believing that his wife was having her second affair in 10 years.

On January 3, 2002, tensions came to a head when Dorey caught his wife speaking on the phone to a man on two separate occasions.

Mrs Dorey had told her husband, who was on anti-depressants at the time, she would leave him "at the drop of a hat", the court heard.

A post-mortem examination following the killing revealed that Mrs Dorey had suffered 10 blows to the head. There was also evidence to suggest that her face had been covered in a blanket before or during the attack.

Miss Lynch argued that the original trial judge had not properly explained to the jury that they could find Dorey guilty of the lesser charge of manslaughter on the basis of his wife's "provocative conduct".

But Lord Justice Judge rejected these claims, saying the Crown Court Judge had analysed and dissected the evidence.

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