Who is Corinna Smith? Wife kills man with boiling sugar mix for allegedly molesting their kids
The mother-of-two committed this violent act after her daughter claimed that the father had sexually assaulted her and her brother when they were children
A British woman who killed her husband in his sleep with boiling sugar water was sentenced on Friday, July 9. The mother-of-two reportedly committed this violent act after her daughter claimed that the father had sexually assaulted her and her brother when they were children.
The incident took place on July 14, 2020, at their home in Highfield Road in the town of Neston in Cheshire. The husband, 81-year-old Michael Baines, suffered extensive burns and died five weeks later in hospital. The woman was found guilty after a trial at Chester Crown Court and jailed for life with a minimum of 12 years.
Who is Corinna Smith?
The 59-year-old was found guilty in June. As per the police, the day before the attack took place, Smith was described as angry and very upset at a rumor circulating about her husband that she believed to be true. As per the BBC, on the day of the incident, she returned home and filled a bucket from her garden with boiling water and mixed it with three kilograms of sugar. As her husband of 38 years lay asleep in bed she poured the contents over his arms and torso and then left the property.
The BBC reported that a neighbor contacted police and the ambulance service after she told him: "I've hurt him really bad, I think I've killed him." When cops arrived, they found Baines "in excruciating pain and whimpering in bed with the skin on his right arm and hand peeling off".
He was taken to hospital and remained in the burns unit for two weeks in a stable condition. But his condition deteriorated once again and he died on August 18, 2020.
Detective chief inspector Paul Hughes said that Smith had killed her husband in “such a painful and cruel way,” adding, "To throw boiling water over someone when they are asleep is absolutely horrific. To also mix three bags of sugar with the water showed the determination she had to cause serious harm. It left Michael in agony and rather than call the emergency services she wasted time by going to a house nine doors away to tell a neighbor, who she wasn't close to, what she had done."
Prosecutors told the court that the sugar "made the liquid more viscous, thicker and stickier so that it stays on the skin and causes greater damage."
On July 13, 2020, Smith had reportedly been informed by her daughter about "devastating" allegations that her husband had committed sexual abuse against children "for many years". Her daughter also alleged that Baines had sexually abused their child Craig Baines, who reportedly took his own life at the age of 25 in 2007.
During the sentencing, Justice Amanda Yip DBE, said, "He had been troubled before his death and had been to prison for a serious assault. You and other family members could not understand why Craig's life had taken this course. He had told you that the man he attacked had been a pedophile and that he had touched him sexually. The day before Craig's death, he had been in some distress and had said: 'Mum, he's a pedophile.' You understood him to be referring to the man he had assaulted. Craig seemed happier the next day and you did not explore what he had said further.”
“This is something that you have felt guilty about ever since. You blamed yourself for Craig's death although you had no reason to. Your trial could not and did not explore the truth of the allegations made against your husband. The prosecution accepted that the allegations were made and that you believed them. No doubt the revelations were extremely distressing for you,” the judge further said.
Justice Yip added, "Although the background provides some explanation as to why you did what you did, I am sure you know that it cannot provide an excuse. Your actions cannot begin to be justified whatever you believed your husband had done. You have taken Mr. Baines' life and caused terrible grief and shock for his children and those who loved him. The moving and dignified statements from his daughters and your son make that clear.”
The judge said, "Killing Mr. Baines also took away any opportunity for the allegations to be tested. That took away his right to a fair trial, bearing in mind that everyone is innocent until proven guilty. I have no doubt that this has caused untold pain to Mr. Baines' children. The allegations are left hanging but unproven. This is a quite dreadful situation for the whole family. They are in no way to blame for any of this and they deserve the utmost sympathy."