Women’s support groups were jubilant yesterday after a 38 year old London woman was allowed to walk free from court, despite being found guilty of murdering her husband, in what was described in court as: “a frenzied and sustained attack” with an axe in June 2015..
During the six weeks trial, the court heard how Mrs Mary Terry from Whitechapel in East London, was close to the onset of her menstrual cycle at the time of the murder. The court was then told how she had been subjected, to what her barrister described as, “a sickening catalogue of abuse” at the hands of her 45 year old chartered accountant husband of 18 years, Miles.
A number of female jurors wept openly as defending counsel, Penelope Barrington-James QC, described how, during their marriage, Mr Terry had repeatedly made a slight squeaking noise on the lino with his wet shoes after taking the bins out in the rain; had once left a trace of tomato sauce on a plate he had supposedly washed up; and how – only 3 weeks into their marriage – he had mistakenly put a knife in the fork drawer.
The court then heard how, on the night of the murder, Mr Terry began whistling while hoovering an upstairs bedroom. Mrs Terry then went out to the garden shed from where she took an axe which she used to decapitate and then butcher Mr Terry as he was kneeling down to hoover under the bed.
Following the guilty verdict, Mrs Justice Ann Francombe, presiding, handed down a conditional discharge, citing: “extreme provocation and an unacceptable and horrendous level of spousal abuse” in her summing up.
Outside the court, a clearly annoyed Mrs Terry spoke briefly to waiting reporters: “I’m just relieved this ordeal is now over and I can get on with my life. My husband wasn’t an inherently bad man but he definitely had it coming, the unfeeling bastard”
She then snipped off the tie of a nearby police officer and knocked off his helmet before getting into a taxi with a reporter from a Sunday newspaper.