Increased sentence for man who killed wife for ‘nagging’

PUBLISHED: 15:53 17 June 2011

Ronald Edwards

Ronald Edwards

Archant

A RETIRED college lecturer who ferociously slashed and stabbed his ‘nagging partner’ to death has had his jail sentence for manslaughter increased from five years to seven and a half years.

The Court of Appeal in London ruled that the five year sentence imposed on three-times-married Ronald Edwards, 65, of Ardley End, Hatfield Heath, and formerly of St Albans, was “unduly lenient”.

Edwards was acquitted of murder, but convicted of manslaughter of twice-divorced Sylvia Rowley-Bailey, 66, who he had met on an internet dating site, with a kitchen knife when she launched into a tirade at their Essex village home on June 11 last year.

The knife was left embedded in the back of her neck with its blade buckled where it had hit her backbone.

Ruling that the sentence should be increased, Lord Justice Leveson said that, while the court recognised the impact of “prolonged, albeit low level provocation”, the deceased did not present a threat of any sort to Edwards “who could have left the house and then sought some other way of resolving the continuing tension that existed between him and the deceased”.

Describing the facts of the incident, he said that Rowley-Bailey cared for him but was, at the same time, “overbearing, demanding and very hurtful”.

By 2009, the relationship came to an end, but they continued to share the same house, with neighbours hearing her “constantly nag and belittle” Edwards.

Lord Justice Leveson added: “On June 11, 2010, following a culmination of a long period of criticism and belittling conduct, matters came to a head. The deceased said that the offender could not use the bed that they shared and that he should buy a separate bed.

“She said that she could not wait for his mother to die so that he could inherit her money and buy her out of the bungalow.”

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