She was suffering with PTSD from years of abuse
The incident took place in a home on Obthorpe Lane, Thurlby. Photo: Google Street View
A Lincolnshire woman who stabbed her estranged husband with a kitchen knife was spared an immediate jail sentence after a judge accepted she was a victim of domestic abuse and significant provocation.
Susan Wheeler, 63, was suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) caused by abuse during her 30 year marriage when she stabbed her husband, Hugh, once in the chest.
Mrs Wheeler, of Thurlby near Bourne, rang 999 after carrying out the stabbing at the couple’s former matrimonial home in Thurlby, near Bourne, and remained at the scene until police and paramedics arrived.
Lincoln Crown Court heard Mr Wheeler was taken to Peterborough City Hospital and underwent surgery to drain blood from his chest cavity, but declined to help the prosecution against his wife.
The court was told Mrs Wheeler appeared “agitated” when emergency services arrived at the property on May 29, last year, and never denied responsibility for the attack.
Mrs Wheeler had faced a charge of attempted murder but pleaded guilty to an offence of wounding her husband with intent to cause him grievous bodily harm following a court hearing on Monday. A not guilty verdict was entered on the attempted murder charge.
Jeremy Jaines, prosecuting, said the couple had attempted a reconciliation in their long marriage after Mrs Wheeler believed her husband had formed a relationship with another woman but by May 29 that had failed and she had contacted a solicitor.
The court heard Mrs Wheeler sought “solace in drink” and was suffering from detiorating mental health when she sent a text message to her daughter on the evening of the offence.
It read: “Get the police because I’m going over there to kill him. Say goodbye to your mother.”
Mr Jaines said Mrs Wheeler entered the property in Obthorpe Lane, Thurlby, shortly after 8pm and selected a knife from the kitchen.
She then proceeded to the living room where she found her husband watching TV on the sofa and stabbed him once in the chest.
The court heard Mrs Wheeler was previously of positive good character and volunteered in the community as a crafts teacher.
Mark Watson, mitigating, told the court Mrs Wheeler had become a “broken woman” by the day of her offence.
But Mr Watson said she was still supported by her daughter in court and had been able to seek help for her problems since her arrest.
Passing a two year jail sentence, suspended for two years, Judge Simon Hirst stressed there were a “large number of unusual aspects” to the case.
The judge explained: “Ordinarily someone who behaved in the way Mrs Wheeler did would receive a lengthy custodial sentence.”
But the judge said he accepted it was an isolated incident and Mrs Wheeler had suffered a significant degree of provocation due to abuse in her marriage which had caused her to be diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Judge Hirst told Mrs Wheeler: “You and Hugh Wheeler were involved in a plainly unhappy marriage for in excess of 30 years.
“I have been told about a background of domestic abuse, both physical and verbal behaviour, and controlling behaviour.”
The judge said he also took into account that it was a single blow from Mrs Wheeler, who was of positive good character, and that she had remained at the scene, ringing 999 herself.
Fast and furious in Ingoldmells
The driver ended up in a ditch on the B1196. Photo: Google Street View
A holidaymaker has avoided jail after overturning his car while high on drugs in a police pursuit in Ingoldmells.
Ryan McKee first attracted the attention of officers after he was seen driving erratically along Roman Bank, Ingoldmells just before 3am.
Noel Philo, prosecuting, said that McKee was driving above the 40mph speed limit for the road and then began to accelerate and brake.
At one point he stopped his vehicle, but when the police officer approached McKee’s Peugeot 206, the vehicle simply accelerated away heading towards Addlethorpe.
A second police vehicle took over the pursuit and as the incident continued McKee jerked the car around with the tyres screeching as he drove along the rural roads.
He went straight through a red traffic light and then headed towards Mablethorpe. McKee ended up on the B1196 but then lost control.
Mr Philo said: “He left the road and went into a ditch. The car then came back onto the road and overturned. It spun a number of times and came to rest on its roof.
“The officer saw the defendant pulling himself out of the driver’s side window and he was followed by his passenger.
“The officer apprehended Mr McKee and described him as being in a semi-comatose state,” said Mr Philo.
McKee then failed a drug test which showed he was six times over the limit.
McKee, 29, of Eadie Street, Nuneaton, admitted charges of dangerous driving, failing to stop for a police constable, drug driving, driving without insurance and without a full licence as a result of the incident.
He was given a 10 month jail sentence suspended for 18 months with 120 hours of unpaid work and 10 rehabilitation activity requirement days.
He was also banned from driving for three years and ordered to pass an extended retest before he can legally drive again.
Ranjit Sandhu, in mitigation, said that since the incident on August 3 last year McKee has done his best to turn his life around.
He said McKee is now working and is no longer taking drugs.
At least two victims over 20 years
John Baldwin admitted to numerous child sex offences in court. Photo: Lincolnshire Police
A pensioner who admitted a series of historic sex offences against young girls has been jailed for ten and a half years at Lincoln Crown Court.
John Baldwin was told he had caused “immense harm” to his two victims.
Judge John Pini QC, passing sentence, told him: “Your conduct was appalling and disgraceful.
“It is clear that you have done immense harm. The fact that you have to serve a prison sentence now is the inevitable consequence of the fact that you escaped justice for so long.”
John Baldwin, 78, of Money Bridge Lane, Pinchbeck, pleaded guilty at Lincoln Crown Court to eight charges of indecent assault on a young girl and a further charge of indecency with a child between December 1987 and December 1995.
He also admitted four charges of sexual assault on a girl under the age of 13 between February 2006 and February 2007.
Baldwin was placed on the sex offenders’ register for life and given an indefinite sexual harm prevention order.
Sarah Knight, prosecuting, told the court that the offences came to light in 2018 when the most recent victim messaged her mother telling of how she had been sexually abused when she was 10 years old.
Subsequently a second victim made a complaint that Baldwin had sexually abused her when she was aged between 8 and 15.
Miss Knight said that Baldwin sexually abused both of the girls in a brazen way.
In an impact statement the older victim told the court: “I lost my life from the day it started. I’ve had to live with it for 33 years.”
She said that as a result of the abuse she suffered as a child she had been unable to sustain a long-lasting relationship with a man.
She added that she had been unable to have children out of fear that they would suffer similar abuse and she would be unable to protect them.
The younger victim said she had wanted to die as a teenager because she felt unable to live with the memories of what she had suffered.
Tim Brown, in mitigation, said Baldwin had no previous convictions and had pleaded guilty to the offences.
He added that Baldwin had originally been due to be sentenced at the end of March but the hearing was put off because of the COVID-19 outbreak.
“Mr Baldwin apologises to both the complainants. He says he is sorry.”