Pensioner convicted for murdering his wife in their Herne Hill home after relationship break down

Katherine Johnston (22 January, 2019) Crime In the Dock

Detective Chief Inspector John Massey: 'I hope this verdict brings a sense of justice for Sheila'

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A pensioner from Herne Hill was convicted of murdering his wife today after the Old Bailey heard he planned to bury her body in Nunhead Cemetery upon the breakdown of their marriage.

Seventy-three-year-old David Thomas, from Casino Avenue, was convicted of murdering his 69-year-old spouse, Sheila Thomas, on today (Tuesday January 22) after a two week trial.

The court heard he insisted his wife move out of their family home after their relationship came to an end in June last year.

After she left, Thomas looked into getting hold of a gun, tried to track down where she was staying, and told a relative he had scouted out places to bury her body in Nunhead Cemetery, it was claimed.

On Tuesday, July 24, Mrs Thomas arrived at their former shared home to collect some belongings, after being told by her ex he would not be present.

That morning police visited the property after receiving reports concerned with the welfare of the people inside.

Officers found both inside the property with stab wounds. Critically injured Mrs Thomas died at the scene at 12.37pm.

Mr Thomas’s wounds were not life-threatening. It later emerged they were injuries he had inflicted on himself.

Thomas was hospitalised and on discharge remanded in custody and charged with murder on Tuesday, July 31.

The court heard he had confronted his wife, demanded to know where she lived, and attacked her with a knife and piece of wood.

Detective Chief Inspector John Massey, the investigating officer, said: “This is a particularly tragic set of circumstances.

“When the victim and the person responsible are husband and wife there are bound to be devastating effects for the immediate family and friends.

“I hope this verdict brings a sense of justice for Sheila and those affected, and will allow them to take the next steps in rebuilding their lives.”

Thomas will be sentenced this Thursday, January 24.

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