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ONE-LEGGED WIFE WAS LEFT TO DIE; Husband jailed for four years.

Byline: RICHARD ELIAS

A HUSBAND killed his severely disabled wife by failing to get her medical help, a jury decided yesterday.

Glasgow-born Irene Hood, 55, suffered multiple fractures in the weeks leading up to her death.

Irene, who only had one leg and used a wheelchair, at first accused husband Kenneth, 57, of attacking her.

But Irene, who also had brittle bone disease, withdrew her claims shortly before she died.

Teesside Crown Court heard it was unclear how many weeks she had suffered with untreated fractures and without medical help.

The jury yesterday cleared Hood of his wife's murder, but found him guilty of manslaughter through gross negligence.

Jailing Hood for four years, Judge Peter Fox told him: "Manslaughter by gross negligence is rare. This particular type of manslaughter, so far as I can find, is unique.

"The jury has acquitted you of causing the fractures which your wife suffered and which led to her death.

"But for a period of weeks - and it cannot be clear how long - you let her suffer very great pain.

"I take the view you were heavily in drink for some, if not all, of that time but that affords you no excuse whatsoever."

Hood had told police Irene suffered the fractures falling from her wheelchair as she "lunged" for a bottle of vodka at their home in Middlesbrough.

Doctors estimated her injuries had occurred two weeks before she was admitted to hospital.

Home Office pathologist Hugh Sunter told the court Irene's injuries were as a result of a violent attack and that she would have been in extreme pain.

Hood did not show any reaction as the jury returned their verdict.

Irene and Hood met in Kilmarnock and married in 1999. But, according to Hood, they moved to Teesside to try to wean his wife away from drinking

He claimed she would go on four-day vodka binges, during which she smoked cannabis and hardly ate.
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Apr 5, 2003
Words:322
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