Husband warned he faces lengthy prison sentence over wife’s death
PUBLISHED: 18:39 15 October 2020 | UPDATED: 18:39 15 October 2020
The husband of a solicitor who died after she was shot at their Suffolk home while two children were nearby has been warned he is facing a lengthy prison term.
Peter Hartshorne-Jones, 51, pleaded not guilty to murdering his 41-year-old solicitor wife Silke Hartshorne-Jones at their farmhouse in The Green, Barham, but guilty to manslaughter by reason of diminished responsibility at a hearing last month.
The hearing was adjourned to allow the prosecution to obtain its own psychiatric report and on Thursday (October 15) Peter Gair, prosecuting said that after considering this report and a report obtained by the defence it had been decided that the manslaughter plea was acceptable and there would be no need for a trial on the murder charge.
Adjourning sentence until January 11 Ipswich Crown Court judge Martyn Levett warned Hartshorne-Jones that he was facing a prison sentence which could be lengthy as a firearm was used and the offence happened in the vicinity of children.
He said the issue of dangerousness would need to be addressed at the sentencing hearing.
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Jonathan Goodman for Hartshorne-Jones said his client suffered from a recurrent depressive disorder and had psychotic symptoms at the time of the shooting.
He said he wasn’t currently being treated in a hospital and as things stood he didn’t meet the criteria for any type of hospital order.
Hartshorne-Jones was charged with murder after his wife was found shot inside their family home on the morning of Sunday, May 3.
Mrs Hartshorne-Jones was found lying on the floor upstairs inside the home, with two gunshot wounds, after police were called to the scene at 4.45am
She was taken to Ipswich Hospital but died a short time later at 6.42am.
A postmortem examination confirmed her death was the result of two gunshot wounds.
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