A wealthy former BT executive has been imprisoned indefinitely for murdering his wife of nearly 40 years after becoming convinced she was having an affair with the handyman. Leslie Winnister, 69, had “lost contact with reality” when he attacked Suzanne Winnister, 66, at their home in Bexley, Kent, on September 8, last year, according to the Old Bailey. Winnister was discovered in a pool of blood in their big detached house’s kitchen, with a blood-stained marble chopping board nearby. A post-mortem investigation revealed that she died due to head and neck injuries. The tragedy occurred six days after the mentally ill Winnister was assessed by a nurse, who scheduled a follow-up appointment for a week later, the day after his wife died.
It was A Judgement Day:
Winnister was given a hospital order with no term limit earlier today after pleading guilty to manslaughter with diminished responsibility. “The events that led to her death were an unmitigated tragedy for her, for you, and for relatives and friends of you who can barely bring themselves to comprehend what has happened,” said Judge Wendy Joseph QC. She described Winnister’s interactions with healthcare workers in the weeks leading up to the murder, culminating in an examination by a nurse on September 2, during which he appeared anxious and paranoid.
“A further assessment was scheduled for one week,” added Judge Joseph. It’s too late. He murdered his wife six days later. This man was not just visibly unwell, but everyone knew it. It was apparent both before and after he killed.” Earlier, prosecutor Bill Emlyn Jones QC described how the couple’s relationship soured in late 2019 after Winnister sent a text to her husband for the handyman. “The defendant questioned her about the ‘x’ with which she had signed off, which she explained was a casual gesture that she habitually used in text messages to all and everybody,” Emlyn Jones said.
Their Relationship was Worse:
During the lockdown last spring and summer, their relationship became “intolerable,” the court heard, with “paranoid” Winnister falsely accusing his wife of infidelity, attempting to poison his meals, and swapping his Rolex watches for fakes. On August 4, last year, the defendant used a crowbar to strike the handyman before fleeing his residence. After the handyman refused to provide a statement and the defendant moved into a hotel for five weeks, no further action was taken. Several attempts were made to assess the defendant during that period, and on August 19, his GP requested an urgent psychiatric examination, according to the court. After becoming concerned that her husband was not eating or caring for himself, Winnister allowed him to return home on September 6.
Leslie Winnister Attacked Suzanne Winnister:
Family members got anxious that night, and Winnister was discovered in a pool of blood with injuries to her head and throat. The defendant had gone to the neighbouring King’s Head tavern and was found with blood on his clothes strolling through a churchyard. “I’ve just had a terrible day,” he informed authorities as he was arrested. Dr. Nigel Blackwood, a psychiatrist, testified that the defendant had a delusional condition with depression. Winnister Drs was psychotic at the time of the murder, having “completely lost touch with reality,” he claimed. Judge Joseph questioned him about Winnister’s interactions with medical personnel, who failed to see the danger he posed to his wife.
Dr. Blackwood believes that if Winnister had consulted a psychiatrist instead of an old age service nurse trained to look for signs of dementia, the risks would have been obvious. Winnister’s best friend Johnson wept as she characterised her as a “very compassionate and considerate person” in a victim impact statement. “I just can’t believe she’s gone,” she remarked. The terror she must have felt at the time will never leave me. She had to be afraid.” The killing was described as “brutal, heartless, and cowardly” by family member Simon Cox, who discovered her dead.