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A PENSIONER charged with murdering his elderly wife has died in hospital.

Retired market gardener John Sutton, 81, was accused of killing 71-year-old wife Anne at their home in Hesketh Lane, Tarleton, in July.

He was due to stand trial early next year.

But he died in his sleep late on Friday.

Since his arrest Mr Sutton had been under observation at Ormskirk hospital.

He was being held under the Mental Health Act 1983.

Lancashire police said his death was not being treated as suspicious.

A police spokeswoman said: "Police can confirm that John Sutton, who was undergoing assessments at a secure mental health ward at Ormskirk Hospital after being charged with the murder of his wife passed away in his sleep.

"Family members have been informed."

Police were called to the couple's address on the morning of July 22, where they discovered the body of Mrs Sutton.
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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Dec 8, 2008
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