TV remote killer Paul Harvey wins sentence cut

Wednesday 19 May 2010 14:05 BST

A man whose wife died by a "fluke" chance when a TV remote he threw towards her hit her head today had his jail sentence reduced by the Court of Appeal.

Electrical engineer Paul Harvey, who killed 48-year-old Gloria Laguna when the remote struck her on a weak artery near her neck, had his prison term cut from three years to 21 months.

It is understood that the ruling by three judges in London means that Harvey, who was present in the dock of the courtroom for the decision, could be released in about two weeks' time.

Harvey, now 47, of Euston, central London, was sentenced at the Old Bailey in December after earlier pleading guilty to manslaughter.

Ms Laguna, a former American diplomat in India, had a rare condition which neither she nor her husband knew about.

They had been arguing at home, after staying in to watch television, when Harvey lost his temper and threw the remote in her direction - landing on the exact spot where she had a weakness in a vertebral artery.

She died from a massive brain haemorrhage as Harvey tried to give her the kiss of life.

Allowing his appeal against the length of his sentence, Mrs Justice Rafferty said: "It seems to us that this is a genuinely single set of circumstances, extraordinary in its coincidences.

"We noted the medical evidence, uncontradicted, that Ms Laguna could have died at any stage by a simple turning of her head.

"We note also that this was not a one-punch manslaughter, but an intemperate throwing of a TV remote toward her.

"That being so, we are just persuaded that three years was too long."

The justice of the case could be met with the imposition of a sentence of 21 months, she added.

Jonathan Goldberg QC, representing Harvey, told the judges that it was an "extraordinary fluke incident".

"Even some wrenching of her head, for example, could have caused her to die in the way that she did," he said.

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