Leeds & West Yorkshire

Haworth man Clement Callaghan, 80, jailed for killing wife

Clement Callaghan
Image caption Clement Callaghan had tried to commit suicide after killing his wife

An 80-year-old man who killed his wife by strangling her with a dog lead after hitting her with a hammer has been jailed for three years.

Clement Callaghan had been depressed when he killed his wife Eileen, 76, at their home in Haworth, West Yorkshire, in August, Bradford Crown Court heard.

The couple, who did not have children, had been married for 53 years.

Callaghan, of Ivy Bank Lane, Keighley, admitted manslaughter due to diminished responsibility at an earlier hearing.

Sentencing him, Judge Roger Thomas stressed how Callaghan, who has served about six months on remand, lived an "entirely blameless" and useful life until the tragedy.

The pensioner developed a severe depressive illness in the weeks before the tragedy, the court heard.

After killing Mrs Callaghan, 76, the former soldier drove to a lay-by outside Haworth where he tried to kill himself.

'Out of character'

But paramedics and doctors saved his life after he was found by passers-by.

The court heard Callaghan wanted to commit suicide thinking his wife, who had difficulty walking, would not be able to cope with life without him.

Callaghan had written a series of notes, which were found in the car, describing why he had done it.

He also wrote: "I'm sorry."

The court was also told how Callaghan's GP had described the killing as "quite astonishingly out of character".

While in hospital after his suicide attempt, Callaghan told a nurse "Why did they have to find me? I want to die".

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