Millionaire pensioner tried to kill former wife

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A millionaire pensioner was facing jail today for attempting to kill his ex-wife after she tried to get a share of his money.

Ronald Seymour, 70, shot Sonia Delvaille, 65, three times in the head at point-blank range after she left her solicitor's office.

Only one of the three bullets entered her brain and she was saved following an emergency operation in February.

The couple, who were worth nearly £3 million between them, had been due in court the following day to sort out a financial settlement.

Seymour, of Hendon Lane, Finchley, north London, was found guilty of attempted murder after only an hour by a jury at the Old Bailey.

He pleaded guilty to having a prohibited weapon, a revolver, with ammunition and not having a certificate for it.

He was remanded in custody for a medical report and will be sentenced on October 27.

Judge Anthony Leonard told Seymour: "The sentence will be one of imprisonment - the question is how long."

The court was told that Miss Delvaille, who had walked out on Seymour a few months before, was too seriously injured to give evidence in court. She is receiving 24-hour care.

Seymour, who owned four houses, had run successful nightclubs in the West End and had also run the Muhammad Ali fan club in England.

After his arrest, he told police his wife wanted to "take everything" in a financial settlement.

The couple had been together for 40 years and continued to live together despite getting a divorce in 1996.

The prosecution said Seymour was a controlling man who had been violent towards Miss Delvaille.

He told police he feared she would "take everything" in a financial settlement due to be settled in court the day following the shooting.

Seymour told the court he did not intend to hurt Miss Delvaille, claiming he bought the gun to kill himself and did not know how it went off.

Sarah Whitehouse, prosecuting, said: "Miraculously, she survived the shooting."

Miss Delvaille walked out in August last year and consulted solicitors.

A financial settlement was drawn up which would result in the sale of the family home and another house.

Miss Whitehouse said Seymour shot Miss Delvaille in the street after she left a meeting with her solicitors.

He had turned up with a revolver in a Tesco carrier bag and was seen struggling with Miss Delvaille near where she parked her car.

"It was there the defendant shot her at point-blank range in the head. She was shouting 'No, no, no'," said Miss Whitehouse.

"Some witnesses said he dragged her along the road. She was critically ill but survived, albeit with brain damage."

He ran off after the shooting in Cavendish Avenue, Finchley, and threw the bag with the gun and bullets into a river near his house, where it was later recovered.

He rang his solicitor and friends to confess to the killing and was about to go to a police station when he was arrested.

Miss Whitehouse said he told police he shot Miss Delvaille because she had changed and had done bad things to him.

She added: "He said he was due in court the next day and he feared his wife would take everything.

"It seems there was a certain amount of physical violence in this marriage.

"She said the defendant was physically abusive towards her.

"On one occasion he held a knife to her, on another he tried to strangle her. He pressed so hard that it damaged her eye."