Christopher Donnelly was killed by Hannegret Donnelly in March on the Berryfields estate in Aylesbury, following an intense period of physical abuse which included hitting him over the head repeatedly with a rolling pin.
A woman has been convicted of murder following a Thames Valley Police investigation.
Hannegret Donnelly, aged 54, of Aylesbury, was convicted at Kingston Crown Court today (20/3) following a 13 day trial by unanimous verdict of the murder of her husband Christopher Donnelly, who was aged 55 when he died.
On 31 March, 2018, Hannegret made a 999 call to the ambulance service stating that Christopher had died the previous night.
Officers attended the scene along with the ambulance service. Hannegret confirmed that although Christopher had died at some point the previous evening, she had only called the emergency services that morning.
She stated that he had been unwell and had tried to revive him but had been unsuccessful, so had waited until the morning to contact the ambulance service.
Hannegret divulged to officers at the scene that some weeks previously, she had hit her husband over the head with a rolling pin.
A police investigation began and Hannegret was arrested.
During interviews, she admitted systematic domestic abuse towards her husband. Evidence of this was found throughout their property including blood splatters identified to be Christopher’s on furniture and walls due to the repeated beating she subjected him to.
He was also found to have sustained a number of injuries which corroborated he had suffered a sustained attack of physical abuse.
At the time of his death, Christopher was found to have 78 visible injuries, including a cauliflower ear, as well as internal injuries including fractures to his scapula, spine, and neck, fractures to the cartilage in his voice box and other traumatic injuries.
These were caused by being hit either by a fist or another blunt object.
Hannegret was charged with one count of wounding with intent on 1 April, 2018, but at the beginning of her trial on 4 March this year, she was charged with murder.
Senior Investigating Officer, Detective Chief Inspector Felicity Parker, of Thames Valley Police’s Protecting Vulnerable People Investigation Unit, said: “Hannegret subjected her husband to a prolonged period of domestic abuse, systematically hitting him with a variety of objects including a rolling pin when he said or did something she did not approve of.
“As a result of this ongoing abuse, Christopher’s body was severely weakened, to the point where he died. Medical assistance was not sought by Mrs Donnelly when Christopher needed it the most and he subsequently died due to contracting pneumonia because of the injuries.
“The jury has found that Hannegret’s actions towards her husband resulted in his death, and she has therefore been convicted of his murder.
“Domestic abuse can affect anyone in our society irrespective of their gender. Christopher was repeatedly physically abused by his wife, she controlled his life through threats and beatings and he did not or could not seek help.
“I would therefore urge anyone who is the victim of abuse to come forward and seek help, support and report it. Thames Valley Police takes all reports of domestic abuse seriously and will always listen, investigate and prosecute offenders wherever possible.”
Hannegret is due to be sentenced at Kingston Crown Court on Friday 22 March.