A woman has been found guilty of murder after she “brutally and painfully” killed her husband of 38 years by pouring boiling water and sugar over him.
Corinna Smith, 59, mixed a bucket of boiling water with three bags of sugar, leaving 81-year-old Michael Baines with 36% burns to his body, and told a neighbour “I think I’ve killed him”.
The day before the attack took place, Smith was described as angry and very upset at a rumour circulating about her husband that she believed to be true.
The court was told that Smith, also known as Corinna Baines, was also her husband’s carer.
Police said the pensioner was rushed to Whiston Hospital in the early hours of 14 July, 2020, in a serious condition.
Despite the best efforts of medical staff, Mr Baines died a month later on 18 August.
On the day of the incident, Smith returned home and filled a bucket from her garden with boiling water and mixed it with three bags of sugar.
As Mr Baines lay asleep in bed she poured the contents over his arms and torso and then left the property in Wirral, Cheshire.
She went to a nearby house and banged on the front door until the occupant answered.
He contacted police and ambulance after hearing her say “I’ve hurt him really bad, I think I’ve killed him".
A short time later officers arrived at the address and found Mr Baines in severe pain and lying in bed with severe skin injuries.
He was taken to Whiston Hospital Burns Unit and remained there for two weeks in a stable condition before he deteriorated and passed away.
Following the incident Smith was initially charged with grievous bodily harm – but shortly after the death of her husband she was charged with murder.
A jury at Chester Crown Court found Smith guilty of murder on Tuesday, following a five-day trial.
Detective Chief Inspector Paul Hughes, from Cheshire Constabulary, said: “Smith killed her husband Michael in such a painful and cruel way.
“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.
“The sugar placed into the water makes it vicious. It becomes thicker and stickier and sinks into the skin better.
"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 neighbour, who she wasn’t close to, what she had done.
“Michael was an elderly man who fought for his life after the attack but sadly in the end he passed away. My thoughts continue to be with his family at this incredibly difficult time.”
Smith will be sentenced on 9 July.
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