Wife who killed is freed Woman killer goes free

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The Independent Online
A mother of three who killed her husband after being subjected to 16 years of violence was freed yesterday.

Carol Peters, 42, was sentenced to life in January 1992 for the murder of her husband, Leslie. She stabbed him 28 times and hit him over the head with a hammer.

In October the Court of Appeal quashed the conviction and ordered a retrial after it emerged that the trial judge had misdirected the jury.

Yesterday at Birmingham Crown Court a jury cleared her of murder but found her guilty of manslaughter. Judge Peter Crawford sentenced her to four years but as she had already served that time since her arrested she was freed.

Carol Peters's case was taken up by Justice for Women, a London-based organisation campaigning on behalf of the victims of domestic violence.

New evidence came to light after temazepam, a powerful sedative, was found in Leslie Peters' blood stream. Tests on the effects of the drug revealed that up to 50 per cent of its users could become irritable and subject to violent mood swings.

Peters, who was undergoing tests for breast cancer at the time of the killing, was prescribed the drug to calm her nerves. But her husband had started taking the pills in large quantities to help him sleep.

Birmingham Crown Court was told that Peters had been a victim of domestic violence for16 years. But her husband had become even more aggressive since losing his job as a joiner a few months before his death.