Lifestyle & Belief

British man tried to murder wife in home-made electric chair

A British man who tried to murder his wife in a home-made electric chair has been sentenced to 10 years in prison, reports said Thursday.

Andrew Castle, a 61-year-old former shop worker, hatched the plot when his wife, Margaret, asked for a divorce after 18 years of marriage.

He invited her around to his home for "a chat" with the intention of bludgeoning her unconscious with a rubber cosh and then placing her in a chair which he had rigged to the mains.

But Margaret fought off her husband's blows and managed to escape the house in Knott End-on-Sea, Lancashire, before hailing down a passerby for help.

Distraught and unstable, Castle tried to electrocute himself in his own device and then cut his wrists with a carving knife. The Daily Mail reported he was found alive in his back garden crying "what have I done?"

A neighbor told The Sun: "Everyone's very upset. We always thought they were a lovely couple who enjoyed walking and cruising holidays."

Police found a cable running from a 13-amp plug to a lamp which was attached to a further cable with one end exposed, the Daily Mail reported.

A flick of the switch at the plug and the live and neutral wires could have sent a potentially lethal shock of mains electricity through Mrs Castle's body as soon as they made contact with her skin or the chair.

Castle described himself as "a nutter" and admitted he had wanted to kill his wife and then commit suicide.

He said he was "simply unable to cope" with the prospect of divorce. Psychiatrists concluded that he had obsessive compulsive disorder and an adjustment disorder.