Published: 15:58, 08 February 2007
A CONTROLLING husband who killed his disabled wife after he received a solicitor’s letter from her has been jailed for life.
Michael Herd showed no emotion as he was told he would not be considered for parole until he had served 15 years, less almost eight months spent in custody.
The 50-year-old plumber denied murdering Ann Herd but was convicted by a jury. He admitted manslaughter.
Judge Andrew Patience, QC, told Herd he had been found guilty on the clearest possible evidence.
"Having listened to the evidence during the past week, I take the view you were always seeking to control her and that she was fearful about, and fearful of, doing anything that upset you, as members of her family so graphically described," he said.
Maidstone Crown Court was told that Herd became enraged when he received the solicitor's letter asking him to leave the sheltered housing that had been provided for her and to provide financial details.
He strangled her with a cord before going to the police and declaring: "I have just killed my wife."
Officers went to their home in Harold Street, Dover, and found 64-year-old Ann Herd lying in the hallway with the cord still around her neck.
Herd claimed that his wife of 17 years had provoked him and said he did not intend to kill her.
After the verdict, Det Insp Isobel Gibson said: “This was an horrific attack on a vulnerable lady and I think the sentence justifies the serious nature of the incident."
She stressed: "I am pleased for Ann’s family, that they can now look to the future.”