Nottinghamshire man given suspended sentence for wife's manslaughter

09/06/2017

A 96-year-old man from Nottinghamshire who admitted to killing his wife has been given a suspended sentence for manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

Jack Tindall strangled his wife Ernestine in August 2016. Her physical and mental health had deteriorated significantly and their living arrangements had become difficult for them to cope with. Mrs Tindall had repeatedly asked relatives and carers to help her end her life.

James Allen from the CPS said: "This is a very sad case. Jack and Ernestine Tindall had been happily married for 68 years and were devoted to each other.

"From the outset Jack Tindall has always accepted that he had killed his wife, but that he did so out of mercy and without malice. The law of murder does not distinguish between murder committed for malevolent reasons and murder motivated by love. Initially Jack Tindall was charged with murder, but he has pleaded guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

"Two independent psychiatrists have examined Jack Tindall and provided detailed reports. They both conclude that at the time he killed his wife, he was suffering from medical conditions that significantly impaired his ability to form a rational judgment.

"Therefore after careful consideration of all the circumstances in this case, the CPS have decided that it is appropriate in this case to accept the guilty plea to manslaughter on the basis of diminished responsibility. 

"The circumstances of Ernestine Tindall's death have been particularly difficult for her family and close relatives. Given the circumstances, the CPS and Nottinghamshire Police approached the case in as sensitive way as possible."

Background:

James Allen is Head of the CPS East Midlands complex casework unit.