Coventry & Warwickshire

TV boss from Warwickshire jailed for killing wife

A television location manager who killed his wife with a single blow during an argument after a dinner party has been jailed for 18 months.

Jonathan Wicks, 48, of Stourton, Warwickshire, who had worked on the BBC's Holby City, had denied the manslaughter of his wife Sarah.

He had argued about an "overcooked" joint of beef, his trial was told.

Mrs Wicks, 49, died in May 2009 after suffering a ruptured artery in her neck at the couple's home.

Sentencing Wicks at Birmingham Crown Court, Judge Richard Griffith-Jones said the offence was so serious that only a custodial sentence could be justified.

Wicks, who had worked on several hit shows, was convicted of manslaughter by a jury at Warwick Crown Court following a four-day trial in May this year.

It was told he had argued with his wife about several issues before the fatal incident, including an "overcooked" joint of beef which had been prepared for guests.

Wicks claimed to have acted in self-defence after she threw plates at him.

Passing sentence, Judge Griffith-Jones told Wicks: "You are a man of hitherto good character who has led a respectable and successful life.

"That success encompassed what I believe to be a loving and harmonious domestic life."

He added: "It is an important feature of this case that the argument arose very quickly and in your own home.

"This is not a case of the sort of yobbish violence in public which is so often a feature of one-blow manslaughter cases."

'Loving couple'

Prior to sentence, David Howker QC said his client had struck one blow of moderate force during a trivial argument at the end of what was an otherwise pleasant lunch.

Mr Howker told the court: "It's plain from the evidence that the court heard in the trial that the defendant and his wife were a devoted, loving couple.

"There is not a shred of evidence or even a hint to suggest... any kind of violence in the history of the marriage."

The prosecution at Wicks' trial did not suggest that he had intended to kill his wife.

But a jury of eight women and four men accepted the Crown's claim that he acted unlawfully in punching or slapping her.

Wicks has already served 110 days in custody on remand.

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