William Allen detained for killing wife Linda in Sussex

William Allen William Allen was found with knife wounds to his legs

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A man has been sent to a mental health unit after pleading guilty to killing his wife on grounds of diminished responsibility.

William Thomas Allen, 67, of West Chiltington, West Sussex, admitted manslaughter at Lewes Crown Court.

The body of his wife Linda, 64, was found with head injuries and stab wounds in June 2011.

Judge Richard Brown imposed a hospital order. The Ministry of Justice will determine Allen's release date.

Police believe Allen may have killed his wife because he could not cope with the pressure of managing building work on a nearby house, which the couple were due to move into.

Det Ch Insp Trevor Bowles, of Sussex Police, said: "This was a tragic set of events. Sadly we will never know the real reason why Mr Allen killed his wife in a moment of extreme violence.

"I believe justice has been served today as the hospital order imposed on Allen will ensure he is treated in a mental health unit without any limit of time."

'Gentle lady'

Allen was arrested on suspicion of murder after calling the emergency services from his home.

When officers arrived they found him in the hallway of the six-bedroom rented property with knife injuries to his legs. There was blood throughout the house.

Speaking shortly after her death, Mrs Allen's brother John Colvin, described her as a "wonderful and caring sister".

He said: "She was an unassuming and gentle lady who loved animals, particularly wild animals in their natural habitat. This fitted well with her other love of her garden.

"Linda and Bill were a very private couple, who only wanted peace and tranquillity."

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