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Man tried to give wife drugged cake; COURT: Husband put crushed sedative tablets into jam and cream filling.

A 46-YEAR-OLD man tried to drug his wife by giving her a cream cake filled with sedative, a court heard yesterday.

Terrence Bennett slipped crushed sedative tablets into the jam and cream filling of an iced bun he had bought her as a treat after work on November 17 last year.

But Kathryn Bennett was suspicious about her husband's behaviour and refused to eat the cake when she spotted white powder on the plate around it, Cardiff Crown Court was told. Instead, frightened, she called police, and Bennett was arrested and taken into custody while forensic scientists examined the cake.

They found 9mg of a sedative, equivalent to two doses, that had been prescribed to Bennett who was suffering from depression.

The double dose would have been enough to have made his wife lethargic and drowsy, the court heard.

Bennett, of Nightingale Close, Dinas Powys, admitted attempting to administer a poisonous or noxious substance with intent to injure or annoy. He was given a community rehabilitation order.

Leighton Hughes, prosecuting, said the couple's marriage had collapsed and they had been living separate lives for some time.

The couple, who have a daughter aged 23 and a son aged 21, also had serious financial problems.

Mrs Bennett said that in the days leading to November 17, her husband had begun acting strangely, said Mr Hughes. He said, "She became particularly suspicious of his behaviour because he became unusually keen to prepare food and drink for her."

Jane Treharne, defending, said Bennett had been suffering from depression since his marriage had broken down and financial problems had started. She said he had only wanted to make his wife sleepy, not unconscious, in order to gain a little respite from the emotional strain.

Bennett was ordered to serve a two-year community rehabilitation order. He will have to undergo psychiatric treatment as a condition of his sentence.


DEPRESSION: Terrence Bennett
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Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Feb 22, 2002
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