HMA v Susanne Wilson

At the High Court in Dumbarton today, 6 July 2017, Lady Rae deferred sentence in respect of Susanne Wilson for a period of six months for good behaviour and continued psychiatric treatment, the accused having pleaded guilty to the culpable homicide of her husband Henry Wilson.

Deferring sentence, Lady Rae made the following statement in court:

“Susanne Wilson, you have pleaded guilty to the crime of the culpable homicide of your husband. You were originally charged with murder but the Crown has accepted a reduced plea on the basis of diminished responsibility.

“At the time of your husband’s death you were, and had been for some time, his full time carer. Mr Wilson suffered serious ill health, both physically and mentally, and it transpires that he had previously tried to commit suicide.

“In addition you had been confronted with distressing information about the husband you had lived with and loved for 50 years.

“It is impossible to envisage the mental torment you must have been going through at the time when you killed your husband and which distorted your decision making, leading you to the action which you took on that fateful evening.

“You are a lady with a truly impeccable background and it clear from the testimonials provided to me that you have considerable support not only from your family but also from members of your community.

“Having considered all the material before me, while recognising that in most cases such a crime would merit a significant custodial sentence, I am prepared, in the unusual and complex circumstances of this case to impose a non-custodial disposal.

“There is no suggestion whatsoever that you are a risk to the public.

“I have come to the view that punishment is not appropriate and having reached that conclusion, I consider that a community payback order is not justified nor is it required.

“What I intend to do therefore is to defer sentence for a period of six months for you to be of good behaviour and to continue with psychiatric treatment as deemed necessary by your psychiatrist.

“I shall remove the bail order and ordain you to appear before me on 9 January 2018 when I shall ask for a supplementary criminal Justice social work report.”