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Man sentenced for manslaughter by diminished responsibility

In Court graphic

A man has been sentenced after pleading guilty to manslaughter by diminished responsibility.

John Woodbridge was arrested following the death of his 92-year-old wife Anne Woodbridge in Weston-super-Mare on the morning of Monday 30 January.

We were called by Mrs Woodbridge’s carers who had been unable to access the couple’s property in Ashcombe Road as they normally would several times a day. Sadly Mrs Woodbridge was found deceased at the scene.

A post-mortem examination confirmed she died as a result of suffocation.

Woodbridge, 92, was initially charged with murder but following medical assessment a guilty plea of manslaughter by diminished responsibility was accepted.

He was handed a two-year prison sentence, suspended for two years, at Bristol Crown Court today (Friday 22 December).

Woodbridge was ‘overwhelmed’ by his wife’s dementia and deteriorating health, according to Judge Pushpinder Singh, who in his sentencing remarks noted the defendant himself was not able to ‘form rational judgement’ due to illness. He also accepted Woodbridge was of previous good character.

Detective Chief Inspector Ben Lavender said: “The circumstances behind Anne Woodbridge’s death are incredibly tragic and our heartfelt thoughts go out to her family and friends.”