Who is Graham Mansfield? Man cleared of murdering terminally-ill wife as he 'acted out of love'

Graham Mansfield reportedly killed his wife Dyanne, 71, who was suffering from cancer, after she begged him to take her life 'when things get bad'


                            Who is Graham Mansfield? Man cleared of murdering terminally-ill wife as he 'acted out of love'
Graham Mansfield was cleared of murder by a jury at Manchester Crown Court (screenshot/[email protected] Standard)
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A pensioner who cut his dying wife's throat in a failed suicide pact has walked free after being cleared of her murder. Graham Mansfield reportedly killed his wife Dyanne, 71, who was suffering from cancer, after she begged him to take her life "when things get bad". A judge said Mansfield "acted out of love" and had been under "immense emotional pressure" when his wife of 40 years died in "exceptional circumstances". 

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Mansfield was given a two-year prison sentence, suspended for two years, after he was cleared of murder but found guilty of manslaughter. The retired airport baggage handler told Manchester Crown Court they were the 'saddest words he had ever heard', but that he agreed to his wife's request as long as he could kill himself too. On the morning of March 24 last year, he was found lying in a pool of blood at the couple's home in Hale, Greater Manchester, while the body of Mrs Mansfield was slumped in a chair at the bottom of their garden.

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Police and paramedics attended the semi-detached property in Canterbury Road after Mansfield dialed 999 and told the operator he had killed his wife at 9 pm the previous day before trying to kill himself. Mrs Mansfield had bled heavily from a 6.3in (16cm) gaping incised wound' and her windpipe had been severed. Three knives and a lump hammer were found near her body.

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A note to their family, left on the dining room table, read: "We are sorry to burden you with this but there is no other way. When Dyanne was diagnosed with cancer, we made a pact. I couldn't bear to live without Dyanne and as the months progressed and as things got worse, it only reinforced our decision that the time has arrived. We hope you all understand. Don't get too upset. We have had a wonderful and happy life together."

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Neither note was signed by Mrs Mansfield, the court heard. Mansfield was arrested at the scene on suspicion of murder and later underwent surgery for wounds to his neck and both wrists. Police went on to speak to the couple's family, friends and neighbours, who spoke favorably about the defendant and his 'unswerving devotion' to his wife. Some even expressed no surprise at the suggestion that he had killed her as part of a suicide pact, jurors heard. 

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Speaking outside the court, according to Evening Standard, Mansfield said his wife would be "fuming" he had a criminal conviction and called for the laws regarding euthanasia and terminal illness to change. "No one should have to go through what we went through," he said. "Unfortunately today my wife is not here. She shouldn't have had to die in such barbaric circumstances, that's what we had to do." 

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As per the reports of Daily Mail, while sentencing him, Mr Justice Goose told the defendant "The circumstances of this case are a tragedy for you and are exceptional in the experiences of this court. You were under immense emotional pressure. I am entirely satisfied that you acted out of love for your wife." 

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In a statement read out to the court, Mrs Mansfield's brother Peter Higson said "I miss my sister terribly. Her death did not come as a shock to me because I knew she was very ill and in great pain. However, the manner of her death did come as a shock. Having said that I can understand the predicament that Graham found himself in. I found myself in a similar situation when my own wife died of cancer. I don't hold any malice against Graham and will continue to value his friendship in the future. If Graham is sentenced to an immediate term of imprisonment, I would be very unhappy. I believe Graham has suffered more than enough and he will never get over this ordeal."
 
 

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