A UK woman poured a mixture of scalding hot water and sugar on her sleeping husband, who later died. The murder was part of a sick plot to “extract vengeance” after an argument between the two.
Corinna Smith, 59, was found guilty last week of murdering her 81-year-old husband, Michael Baines, when she attacked him in their home in Neston, Cheshire, on July 14, 2020.
Chester Crown Court listened to how Smith mixed boiling water with three bags of sugar and then doused her husband with the liquid — burning his arms and torso.
The Crown Prosecution Service said Smith had been involved in a dispute with her husband and another family member prior to the attack.
Smith then ran to a neighbor’s house crying and confessed, “I’ve hurt him really bad, I think I’ve killed him.”
Responding officers found Baines whimpering in bed, with the skin on his right arm and hand peeling off.
He was rushed to Whiston Hospital, where he remained in stable condition in the burns unit. However, his condition worsened until he died on August 18.
“Smith killed her husband Michael in such a painful and cruel way,” said Detective Chief Inspector Paul Hughes, from Cheshire Constabulary’s Major Crime Directorate.
“She was clearly upset about the dispute … but the evidence demonstrated that she was in control and acted in anger when she poured the lethal mixture over her husband and wanted to extract vengeance,” she said.
Smith was found guilty following a five-day trial. She will be sentenced on July 9.
“To throw boiling water over someone when they are asleep is absolutely horrific. To also mix three bags of sugar with the water showed the determination she had to cause serious harm.”
“The sugar placed into the water makes it viscous,” he added.
“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.”
Smith was initially charged with grievous bodily harm, but after her husband’s death, the charge was upgraded to murder, the local report said.
Speaking after the verdict, Jayne Morris, crown prosecutor for CPS Mersey Cheshire, said Smith’s actions were “deliberate and considered.”