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Retired butcher who stabbed 60-year-old blind woman spared jail time

A 90-year-old retired butcher who stabbed his blind and ailing wife to “pause her” has been spared jail time.

Edward Turpin took a carving knife from the kitchen and attacked Joan Turpin, also 90, in bed at their home in Orpington, Kent, on September 22 last year.

Then he called 999 and said to the operator, “I don’t want to stop the bleeding. We want to die.”

While refusing to take charge of the phone, he urged emergency services to “hurry up,” the Old Bailey was told.

Turpin, who worked at the Smithfield meat market in central London, was acquitted of attempted murder and an alternative charge of deliberately injuring his 60-year-old wife.

However, a jury found him guilty on a lesser alternative charge of injury, as he was reckless regarding the injuries she could sustain.

He was sentenced in absentia at the Old Bailey on Wednesday after being hospitalized with a respiratory infection and pneumonia.

Judge Alexia Durran gave him two years in prison with a two-year suspension.

During the trial, the jurors learned that Ms. Turpin, who has lost her sight, has diabetes and requires a catheter, had become increasingly dependent on her husband’s help before the attack.

Turpin felt he “couldn’t take it anymore” and attacked his wife in their bed at about 1:30 a.m. before turning the knife on himself, the court heard.

Immediately after the attack, he called 999 and said to the operator, “I don’t want to stop the bleeding. We want to die.”

He is said to have added: “She’s been sick, she’s come home, all she’s done is get on my nerves. I just cracked. I just went.”

Turpin gave evidence, saying the “last thing” he wanted was to hurt his wife.

Rejecting the suggestion he had suggested the couple were in a suicide pact, he told the judges, “We had 60 good years and all I want to do is, you know, get on with life.”

Ms Turpin has been in a nursing home since the knife attack and can only speak to her husband by phone.

She defended her husband’s record as a “great man” who never “put one finger on her” prior to the incident.

In a video interview after the attack, she said: “It’s a long time to be married to someone to fall in love with.

“I adore him and he adores me.”

Prosecutor Alistair Richardson read on her behalf a statement prepared by an aid worker.

He said that while Ms Turpin’s injuries healed well, the “psychological impact is enormous” and “her whole life has been turned upside down”.

He said: “Joan is very wary of strangers after being attacked with a knife and needs constant reassurance from people she knows.

“Joan was extremely stressed and anxious as the trial approached.

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