AN 81-YEAR-OLD man has admitted stabbing his wife to death at their home.
Annie Beaver, 81, was found by police at the house the couple shared at Sherfield Avenue in Leigh Park, on 23 November last year.
Officers had been called to the property just before 6am.
Mrs Beaver (pictured) was pronounced dead at the scene. She died of multiple stab wounds.
Her husband Peter, who suffers from dementia, had pleaded not guilty to murdering Mrs Beaver during an earlier plea and case management hearing at Winchester Crown Court.
Yesterday he pleaded guilty to manslaughter on the day that his trial was due to start.
Mr Beaver, who used a walking stick, sat in front of the glass-panelled dock with a solicitor during the short hearing after being granted permission to do so by Mr Justice Teare.
He sat quietly and spoke only to enter his not guilty plea to murder but guilty plea to manslaughter.
The charges had to be put to Mr Beaver twice.
Mr Justice Teare said that Beaver’s responsibility for his actions in killing his wife had been ‘substantially diminished’.
Addressing Mr Justice Teare, Kerry Maylin, prosecuting, said of Beaver’s guilty plea to manslaughter: ‘That is an acceptable plea, bearing in mind the psychiatric evidence and also the evidence as a whole that the crown have been able to review.
‘As I understand it, the psychiatrists are all in agreement that while Peter Beaver suffers from dementia it is not a form of illness that can be treated suitably under a Mental Health Act disposal.
‘Therefore, it is perhaps the most appropriate way to adjourn this matter to allow a full pre-sentence report.’
The court heard psychiatrists have not recommended that Mr Beaver should be given a hospital order.
Mr and Mrs Beaver had lived together for 40 years.
The court heard that the couple’s grandaughter had cared twice a week for Mrs Beaver.
Mr Beaver, who is still living at his home in Sherfield Avenue, was released on bail for a pre-sentence report to be prepared.
He is due to be sentenced at Winchester Crown Court on a date to be fixed.