Hannegret Donnelly: 'Systematic abuser' murdered husband

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Hannegret DonnellyImage source, Thames Valley Police
Image caption,
Hannegret Donnelly was found guilty of murder by a jury at Kingston Crown Court

A woman who "systematically" abused her husband by hitting him with objects, weakening him until he died, has been found guilty of his murder.

Hannegret Donnelly, 55, of Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, controlled husband Christopher's life "through threats and beatings", police said.

Mr Donnelly, 55, had 78 external injuries and various internal ones, including spine and neck fractures, at the time of his death in March 2018.

Donnelly will be sentenced on Friday.

Thames Valley Police said that on 31 March, Donnelly rang the ambulance service saying her husband had died the previous night, having become unwell.

She was arrested after telling officers that some weeks beforehand she had hit him over the head with a rolling pin.

Mr Donnelly's blood spatters were found across furniture and the walls of the couple's home because of what police described as "repeated beating" and she admitted abusing her husband.

'Severely weakened'

His injuries included a cauliflower ear, fractures to the cartilage in his voice box and other traumatic injuries, caused by either a fist or blunt object.

Mr Donnelly died as a result of contracting pneumonia because of his injuries, and his wife was convicted of murder following a trial at Kingston Crown Court.

Det Ch Insp Felicity Parker said Mr Donnelly's body was "severely weakened" by his wife's abuse and she did not seek medical assistance "when Christopher needed it the most".

"Domestic abuse can affect anyone in our society irrespective of their gender," she said.

"Christopher was repeatedly physically abused by his wife, she controlled his life through threats and beatings and he did not or could not seek help.

"I would therefore urge anyone who is the victim of abuse to come forward and seek help, support and report it."

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