Nottingham

Husband, 82, tried to kill wife amid 'struggles' with care and home-move

Worksop Road, Budby, Nottinghamshire Image copyright Google
Image caption Police were called to a home in Worksop Road, Budby, Nottinghamshire

A man who stabbed his wife as he "struggled to cope" with her care and an impending house move has been jailed for attempted murder.

John and June Hodgkinson had enjoyed "59 years of drama-free marriage" before the attack, Nottingham Crown Court heard.

Mr Hodgkinson, 82, also tried to take his own life after the stabbing.

Sentencing, Judge Gregory Dickinson QC said the case was "in equal measure very serious and very sad".

Ex-woodsman Mr Hodgkinson lived with his wife, 83, near the Thoresby Estate, his former place of work.

Luke Blackburn, prosecuting, said Mr Hodgkinson - who had also served in the RAF - was struggling to cope with a planned move to a smaller property.

The defendant, who was caring for his wife after she came home from hospital, felt "life was getting on top of him," Mr Blackburn said.

On the morning of the stabbing in August, the prosecution said, the couple had rowed and Mr Hodgkinson had told one of their two daughters: "Don't expect us to be here when you come round."

He stabbed his wife twice in the chest, before inflicting knife wounds on himself.

'Abandoned'

Mrs Hodgkinson, who was treated for a collapsed lung, dialled 999 and told a call handler she would "be dead before you come".

Her husband admitted what he had done to a worker on the estate and officers responding to the call.

A psychiatrist found Mr Hodgkinson had an "adjustment disorder" that made it difficult for him to respond to changes.

He felt "deserted" and "abandoned", the court heard.

Steven Gosnell, defending, said his client was "bitterly sorry for what he has done".

A victim impact statement written by Mrs Hodgkinson said she still loved her husband "as I've been doing all our years together".

Judge Dickinson said Mr Hodgkinson "rightly or wrongly" felt abandoned and believed he had "no option but to end both of your lives".

"Your plan was actually to deprive your daughters of both mum and dad," he said.

"That would have been an appalling blow for them."

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