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Judge begins deciding sentence for Felixstowe man who stabbed wife to death

PUBLISHED: 19:30 25 January 2019

Police cordon off an area of Gosford Way in Felixstowe after Shaun Ryan killed his wife Jean in 2016 Picture: SU ANDERSON

Police cordon off an area of Gosford Way in Felixstowe after Shaun Ryan killed his wife Jean in 2016 Picture: SU ANDERSON

A former soldier who stabbed his wife to death in their Felixstowe home is expected to be sentenced next week after a judge has finished hearing evidence from psychiatrists.

Shaun Ryan, 64, had denied murdering his 67-year-old wife Jean at their bungalow in Gosford Way on April 13 2016 but in June last year he pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of manslaughter by reason of diminished responsibility.

On Friday (January 25) Judge David Goodin began hearing evidence from psychiatrists about Ryan’s mental state which will help him decide whether to jail him, make him the subject of a hospital order or detain him in hospital until he is well enough to be transferred to a prison to finish his sentence.

Ipswich Crown Court has heard that police officers went to the couple’s home at 11.31pm on April 13 2016 after receiving a 999 call from Mrs Ryan who was screaming and shouting “no”.

Ryan was in the hallway bleeding from cuts to his hands and the officers then found Mrs Ryan’s body on the bedroom floor with a knife in her back.

She had 14 stab wounds to her head, chest, abdomen, arms and legs and injuries to her head and face.

There was no sign of a pulse and when the officer told his colleague: “It’s a murder,” Ryan had tried to get past the other officer and had thrown punches as they tried to restrain him.

Ryan said: “She deserved it, lying bitch” and: “I want the jewellery back. She won’t need it in the afterlife,” and “she won’t be bothering me again”.

The court heard that since the 1970’s Ryan had suffered a number of head injuries which had left him with epilepsy, including being hit by a brick while serving in the Army in Northern Ireland.

He also had chronic liver disease caused by alcohol.

Psychiatrist, Prof. Philip Joseph, who was called by the prosecution, said although Ryan had brain damage with associated epilepsy in his opinion he wasn’t suffering from a mental illness which made it appropriate for him to be detained in hospital.

He claimed Ryan was prone to aggression which wasn’t associated with any treatable mental disorder.

He also claimed Ryan was currently being “contained” in a psychiatric hospital and wasn’t receiving treatment to control his anger or psychiatric medication.

The hearing was adjourned until next Wednesday when a psychiatrist is expected to give evidence on behalf of the defence.

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