'Happy' Couple's 30 Year Marriage Ends in Tragedy

Husband confined to mental institution after battering wife to death

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An Isleworth man is to be detained indefinitely in a mental insitution after he bludgeoned his wife to death with a crow bar.

John Griffin aged 71 of Aylett Road pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of Iris Griffin on the grounds of diminished responsibility. He John Griffin was detained under the mental health act for an indeterminate length of time.

The couple had been married for over 30 years and their marriage was described as a happy one. However, when they both contracted cancer things became more difficult. Mr. Griffin was prone to severe depression and could become aggressive and violent. He was having increasing difficulty caring for his wife but the judge refused to accept the defence's contention that this was a mercy killing.

DI Andy Manning, Homicide and Serious Crime Command said, "This was a tragic case. Iris was killed by John, her husband of 30 years, when he repeatedly hit her about the head with a crow bar. John initially claimed Iris had cancer and that it was a mercy killing, but whilst she had had surgery she certainly wasn't terminally ill.

"That John is now detained in a secure unit for the foreseeable future means that he can no longer be a danger to others. But he will have to live with the knowledge of what he has done."

The incident took place in August 2007. When police arrived at the scene they found Iris Griffin dead at the scene and John Griffin attempting to hang himself.

November 21, 2008