U.K. woman uses boiling water, sugar to kill husband after learning of child sex abuse allegations

Nation/world
Corinna Smith is seen in a booking photo released by the Cheshire Constabulary.

Corinna Smith is seen in a booking photo released by the Cheshire Constabulary.

A British woman has been sentenced to life in prison after using boiling water and sugar to kill her husband after learning of child sexual abuse allegations against him, KTLA sister station WJW in Cleveland reports.

The deadly attack occurred in July 2020, according to the Cheshire Constabulary in Neston, England. In a news release issued last Friday, the police agency said that 59-year-old Corinna Smith had become “angry and very upset” over a rumor circulating about her 81-year-old husband, Michael Baines.

Smith’s daughter had told her that Baines sexually abused children “for many years,” according to The Chester Standard. The daughter said the alleged victims including her brother, who committed suicide in 2007 at age 25, the newspaper reported.

The day after learning of the allegations, Smith filled a bucket from her garden with boiling water and mixed it with three kilograms of sugar, police said.

While Baines was sleeping in bed, she poured the mixture on his arms and torso, according to the release. She then went to a nearby home and told the occupant, “I’ve hurt him really bad. I think I’ve killed him.”

The occupant called police, who found Baines in his bed whimpering in pain.

Baines was left with burns to 36% of his body. He was taken to the hospital but died about a month later.

“The sugar placed into the water makes it (viscous). It becomes thicker and stickier and sinks into the skin better. It left Michael in agony and rather than call the emergency services she wasted time by going to a house nine doors away to tell a neighbor, who she wasn’t close to, what she had done,” Detective Chief Inspector Paul Hughes, of Cheshire Constabulary’s Major Crime Directorate, stated in the release.

Smith was found guilty of murder in June and received a life sentence last Friday. She will serve a minimum of 12 years in prison.

“Smith killed her husband Michael in such a painful and cruel way. To throw boiling water over someone when they are asleep is absolutely horrific,” Hughes said. “Michael was an elderly man who fought for his life after the attack but sadly in the end he passed away. My thoughts continue to be with his family at this incredibly difficult time.”

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