Former Ayr councillor who smothered and killed sick husband walks free

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A former councillor who killed her sick husband of 50 years because she believed he wanted her to help him die has walked free from court.

Susanne Wilson who smothered 70 year-old Henry with a cushion at their home in Ayr, South Ayrshire, in September 2016, was admonished by a judge.

Judge Lady Rae told Mrs Wilson she was taking the unusual step due to “exceptional circumstances”.

At the High Court in Glasgow yesterday, Lady Rae told Mrs Wilson: “This was a very tragic case. There are exceptional circumstances and punishment would not be in the interests of justice.

“The main reason was your mental health at the time of the death of your husband. There is no reason to suggest that you are any risk whatsoever to the public.

“You are therefore admonished and dismissed. I hope you get on with the rest of your life.”

Mrs Wilson, 72, a retired nurse, had been the carer for her housebound husband, who suffered from chronic heart disease.

She was also struggling to come to terms with sex abuse allegations against her husband.

It was shortly after Mr Wilson spoke to one of his accusers – and with his health failing – his wife killed him.

Mrs Wilson, who once faced a murder accusation, admitted to the lesser charge of culpable homicide.

Prosecutors accepted the plea on the basis of her “diminished responsibility” at the time due to the strain she was under.

The court heard that Mr Wilson, a retired Butlins shop manager, who was in poor health, had previously tried to commit suicide.

His wife was a Labour councillor in Troon, South Ayrshire, in the late 1990s. The couple were married for 50 years and had three children.

Prosecutor Bill McVicar said: “Mrs Wilson accepted the accusations against her husband were true, but continued to live in the same house to provide constant care.”

Others who had helped share the care of Mr Wilson stopped visiting due to the sex abuse claims.

Defence QC Gordon Jackson said that Mrs Wilson intends to volunteer at a hospital which has helped her with her mental health, teaching embroidery to patients.

She made no comment as she left court.