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Woman who killed sick husband by beating him with rolling pin gets life term in jail

The German wife Hannegret Donnelly had been abusive towards her husband of 23 years for a while before finally brutally beating him to death
UPDATED FEB 19, 2020
(Source : Getty Images)
(Source : Getty Images)

A German midwife who viciously murdered her ill husband by beating him to death with a rolling pin after several years of abusing him has been jailed for life. The 54-year-old Hannegret Donnelly killed her husband Christopher who was sick with bronchial pneumonia. 

The murder took place at the couple's home which is located in Buckinghamshire. The woman subjected the father of their four children to 68 injuries, resulting in his blood splattering all over the walls, the Kingston-upon-Thames Crown Court was made aware. Christopher passed away on March 31 in 2018 while at his home in Aylesbury while Hannegret waited 12 hours before calling paramedics and claiming he had succumbed to his pneumonia. 

She remained eerily calm and said that her husband would not have wanted to go to a hospital as he did not like doctors. Christopher's blood marks were found out by the front door, in the hallway, up the staircase, in the dining room, as well as all over wall tiles and blinds. The jury convicted Hannegret Donnelly after a 13-day-long trial.

As reported by Daily Mail, Judge Amanda Yip, QC shared, "What is clear is the violence you inflicted was one-sided. The blood found in your home all matched his. No one but you knows what caused you to repeatedly assault your husband."

She added, "It does not appear that your relationship was always a troubled one. You had been married for 23 years at the time of his death. You have deprived your four children of their father and sadly your separation because of your arrest can only add to their trauma."

"It is clear Christopher experienced physical violence before death — it is inconceivable that he did not suffer mentally," Judge Amanda added. A couple of days before Christopher died, Hannegret wrote in her diary, "I did not allow him to go to the toilet."

She also prevented her children from using mobile phones and had the landline disconnected. The couple had met in 1992 and when he started to fall sick, Hannegret started to beat him up with household objects. 

Two years before he died, their children, who are between the ages of 12 and 21 had become extremely isolated and were home-schooled by their mother. Prosecutor Eloise Marshall, QC revealed to the Kingston Crown Court, "In this case, the victim was particularly vulnerable due to his disability. We know that the defendant from her own admissions had continued to assault him."

"She has said that these repeated injuries were committed with a rolling pin. It is unclear and the Crown is unable to say whether that was the only instrument," Marshall said.

"There would have been mental and physical suffering inflicted on the victim until death. Their household was a complex and strange one and even though they seemed a conventional family over the years they withdrew from life outside," Marshall shared. Hannegret who denied the murder as well as causing bodily harm was convicted of murder and jailed for a minimum period of 16 years.