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Scissors killer Sandra Clinch is sent to prison

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: November 09, 2012

Sandra Clinch

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A woman has been jailed for nine years after being found guilty of killing her husband, after fatally wounding him with scissors when he ignored her command to tidy up their house in Cornwall.

Sandra Clinch looked to the floor as the jury returned their verdict, dismissing her suggestion that American car enthusiast Alan Clinch's death was "a tragic accident".

The jury of six men and six women found Clinch guilty of manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility and not guilty of Mr Clinch's murder. The jury took 16 hours and 17 minutes to find Clinch guilty by a majority verdict of 10 to two.

The 49-year-old was said to have flown into a rage after her "quiet" husband did not immediately stop tending to the garden and return inside their cottage in the village of Darite, Liskeard, to tidy up. The couple were expecting guests, due to arrive for Sunday lunch, and Clinch had asked her husband for help, but he had told her to "shut up" on May 13 this year.

Truro Crown Court heard the fatal wound was caused by dress-making scissors, which were embedded up to 4in (12cm) into Mr Clinch's chest, having first pierced two layers of clothing before puncturing his heart and a lung.

The mother-of-five told police she had thrown the scissors at her husband, but later changed her account, saying he walked into the line of fire.

Sentencing Clinch, Judge Graham Cottle said: "You have been convicted by the jury of manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility. Your principle defence of an accident was nothing more than purely fanciful."

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