A woman has been jailed for attempting to kill her husband by feeding him poison disguised in a Christmas drink of cherry Lambrini.
Jacqueline Patrick, 55, was so determined for husband Douglas to die that she faked a “do not resuscitate” note for paramedics in an attempt to convince them not to give CPR.
She was helped by their daughter, 21-year-old Katherine Patrick, who was jailed for three years today after admitting inciting another to administer a noxious substance at Inner London Crown Court.
Her mother pleaded guilty to two counts of attempted murder and was sentenced to 15 years in prison.
The first attempt came in October 2013 at the family home in Durning Road, Gipsy Hill, south London, when Patrick purchased anti-freeze.
Text messages published by the Metropolitan Police showed Patrick and her daughter discussing the plan on 26 October, with the mother writing: “I got the stuff I will give him some later delete txt tell no one ok.”
A later message read: “I'll give a little at first I brought it so no one else gets involved.” It was followed by another saying she had “given him some more at dinner.”
But Mr Patrick survived and his wife texted her daughter to say she had “given him some more” on 17 November.
In a later police interview, the husband told officers he put collapses and illness down to drinking “bootleg” lager.
Seemingly considering a change in tactic on 28 November, she wrote a text saying “maybe someone could attack him when he goes to look at the car”, followed by a shorter message reading: “Delete that”.
Then on Christmas Day that year, Patrick spiked her 70-year-old husband’s drink of cherry Lambrini with more anti-freeze, causing him to collapse and be taken to King's College Hospital by ambulance the following day.
During the journey to hospital, she showed paramedics a typed note, which she claimed was from Mr Patrick asking not to be revived and to be allowed to die with dignity, a spokesperson for Scotland Yard said.
The ruse was revealed by a spelling mistake, with "dignity" written as "dignerty" on the typed note and by Patrick when she was later asked to spell the word by police.
Having been admitted to hospital in a life-threatening condition, the victim was placed in an induced coma and blood tests were taken that revealed he was suffering from anti-freeze poisoning.
When Patrick was informed she told doctors she thought Mr Patrick may have drunk a blue liquid by mistake, but suspicious hospital staff called police and a search of their house revealed the anti-freeze.
When Mr Patrick regained consciousness on 8 January and told police he was not suicidal, had not tried to kill himself and had not consumed anti-freeze – but had accepted Christmas drinks from his wife before feeling ill – Patrick and her daughter were arrested.
Patrick maintained her innocence in an initial statement, claiming her husband seemed drunk and that she called an ambulance as soon as she found him unconscious the next morning, but mobile phone analysis and inconsistencies revealed the plot.
The court heard Mr Patrick had not wanted to pursue a case against his wife and daughter and did not desire to see them jailed.
In a statement read to the court, he said: “I will never get over it. It broke me. This was a person I loved and love.”
The prosecution agreed to accept a plea of two counts of attempted murder from Jacqueline Patrick and the incitement count from Katherine Patrick with all remaining charges left to lie on file.
Detective Inspector Tracey Miller, the investigating officer from Lambeth Borough, said the plot was thought to be motivated by “family tension and arguments”.
“Mr Patrick came very close to dying and while he lay in his hospital bed fighting for his life, his wife told lie after lie to cover her tracks,” she added.
”This was a calculated and well-planned plot and I am pleased Patrick admitted her crimes and her daughter also pleaded guilty to her role in encouraging her mother to act in this appalling manner. Their actions will now see them spend a considerable period behind bars.“
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