Richard Newton sentenced to hospital order after killing wife

Richard Newton Image copyright Wiltshire Police
Image caption Richard Newton was arrested in Dulverton, Somerset

A man who prompted a police search after stabbing his wife to death has been sentenced to a hospital order.

Richard Newton killed Suzanne Bavette Newton, 45, at their home in Barnes Wallis Close, in Bowerhill, Melksham, Wiltshire on 13 January last year.

The 52-year-old admitted manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility and was sentenced at Bristol Crown Court.

Ms Newton's family said they would continue to mourn her death.

Speaking after the court hearing, Wiltshire Police said Newton fatally injured his wife at their home before driving to the Exmoor area where he confessed his actions to his brother.

'Remote area'

Det Ch Insp Ian Saunders said Newton then spent a number of hours on Exmoor, prompting "a thorough and detailed search by police of this remote area".

"I hope that Suzanne Newton's family can now move forward with their lives," he said.

Image copyright Wiltshire Police handout
Image caption Suzanne Bavette Newton, a keen horse rider, was employed by a Calne-based recruitment agency

Newton was handed a hospital order by the judge, which means he will go to a secure mental health unit and remain there until he is considered fit for release.

He was also given a restriction order meaning he will be monitored even if he is released from the secure unit.

Richard and Diana Milward, relatives of Ms Newton, said in a statement: "After 13 months of waiting, we as a family can continue mourning the shocking death of our amazing daughter and mother, Sue.

"We have been helped and supported by Sue's many friends from all over the country who have told us, repeatedly, what a skilled horsewoman and wonderful person she was to all who needed her help.

"There are two families affected by this judgement, and each has to live with this for the rest of their lives."

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