Mum killed sleeping husband with boiling water after daughter said he had abused her

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A mum poured boiling water mixed with sugar over her sleeping husband after being told he had allegedly sexually abused her children.

Corinna Smith, 59, filled a garden bucket with water from the kettle and three bags of sugar before hurling it over Michael Baines as he slept in their bed, leading to his death.

She had become incensed after her daughter claimed Mr Baines, 80, had preyed on her and her brother Craig – who took his own life in 2007 – “for many years when they were children”, reports the Liverpool Echo.

Smith, previously known as Baines, of Neston, Cheshire, was sentenced to life imprisonment, and ordered to serve a minimum of 12 years behind bars before parole can be considered.

Prosecutors told Chester Crown Court yesterday the sugar “made the liquid more viscous, thicker and stickier, so that it stays on the skin and causes greater damage”.

Mr Baines suffered significant burns to 36 percent of his body and underwent surgery and skin grafts but died weeks later at Whiston Hospital in August last year.

Prior to his death, Craig had been to prison for assault and told his mum the man he attacked was a paedophile who had “touched him sexually”, the court heard.

Judge Amanda Yip, QC, said: “You found it difficult to take everything in, but made the connection between what Craig had said the day before he died and what your daughter was telling you.

“You were understandably very upset. You were described as being livid and fuming.”

Prosecutors told the court they could not confirm the allegations made about Mr Baines but accepted the defendant “believed them to be true” when she attacked her husband on July 14 last year.

Smith had claimed manslaughter due to loss of control but a jury found her guilty of murder following a trial last month.

Her argument was weakened due to the planned involved, including the 13 minutes it took to boil the water to fill the bucket.

Prosecuting, Mark Rhind QC, said: “She was in control and acted in anger and to extract vengeance for what she believed that Michael had done.

“We say that she intended either to kill Michael or to cause him really serious harm and so she is guilty of murder.”

Smith fled the house following the attack and told a neighbour several doors down: “I’ve hurt him really bad, I think I’ve killed him.”

An ambulance was called and police also arrived at the scene, finding Mr Baines in excruciating pain with his skin peeling off.

He told officers “I just want to die”, the court heard.

Smith admitted to police in an interview she poured the water over her husband but that the “whole thing is a bit of a blur”.

“I just lost it and was so emotional, I was not acting out of revenge.”

Detective Chief Inspector Paul Hughes, from Cheshire Constabulary’s Major Crime Directorate, said: “Smith killed her husband Michael in such a painful and cruel way.”

He said she “wasted time” after the attack by going to a neighbour nine doors away who she “wasn’t close to”.

“Michael was an elderly man who fought for his life after the attack but sadly in the end he passed away,” he added.