Beds, Herts & Bucks

Milton Keynes woman, 75, pleads guilty to husband murder

A woman accused of killing her 83-year-old husband who was suffering from a terminal illness has pleaded guilty to his murder.

Sheila Sampford, 75, of Spoonley Wood, Bancroft Park, Milton Keynes, admitted killing John Sampford on 5 July.

Sampford appeared by video link at Luton Crown Court from HMP Peterborough where she was being held in custody.

Judge Richard Foster set the date for a hearing on 26 February, when her plea would be examined before sentence.

The judge said the hearing would be a trial of the issue of "whether or not the basis of the plea that she put forward should be that on which sentence should be made".

This hearing will look at the mitigating circumstances that might emerge if the judge regards the husband's death as a "mercy killing".

Sampford's defence lawyer said her husband had been suffering from terminal leukaemia.

A post-mortem examination revealed Mr Sampford died as a result of strangulation.

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