Friday, 16 November 2007

Media Law Article

A woman was today jailed after being found guilty of manslaughter, after the death of her husband.

Mrs Horton Smith, mother of two, was sentenced for an initial 18 months before today’s verdict, 9 of which had already been served.

The court heard how Mr Horton-Smith was found dead at the family home on the night of the 27th May with a single shot gun wound to the chest and a single shotgun would to the back.

PC South was the first officer to arrive at the scene at approximately 11.41pm, “She (Mrs Horton-Smith) was sitting on the stairs”. South added, “I could see the gun and the cartridges”.

Pathologist, Mr McKenzie told the court how the victim may have had a slim chance of survival, however only with specialist treatment, “No treatment, no chance”.

The Defence Council told the jury how Mrs Horton-Smith married her husband after the birth of their daughter.

The couple then moved into Manor Farm where Mr Horton-Smith had lived during his childhood.

According to Mr Prestwick Mr Horton-Smith became depressed due to his father paying for his children’s tuition fees, leading to violent outbursts.

Mrs Horton-Smith added, “He punched me, kicked me and tried to strangle me with a blue dog lead”.

On the night of Mr Horton-Smiths death, the jury heard how Mr Horton-Smith arrived home in a foul mood after a failed business venture.

Mr Horton-Smith put the blue dog lead onto the kitchen table, then Mrs Horton-Smith ran to get her husbands shotgun, explained Mr Prestwick.

During this incident Mr Horton-Smith shouted, “You’ve had it this time bitch” to his wife.

The Prosecuting Council highlighted how there was a 20 second delay between the first and second gun shot.

Ms Cloves proceeded to tell the court how Mr Horton-Smith’s brother was the only person to have seen result of Mr Horton Smith’s violent actions towards his wife.

Mr Horton-Smith’s brother, Robert was, “Appalled and upset” after seeing Mrs Horton-Smith’s bruises but denied Mrs Horton-Smith’s allegations that the pair were having an affair.

The Prosecuting Council informed the court that Mrs Horton-Smith would receive ‘£1.2 million’ of her husband’s estate.

The initial sentence remained, causing Mrs Horton-Smith to see out the remaining 9 months of her sentence.



Word Count: 375

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