A 73 years old pensioner Graham Mansfield has pleaded not guilty of murdering his 71-year-old wife Dyanne claiming he unwillingly succumbed to the wife’s directive.
The pensioner told a jury that his wife asking him to kill her were the “saddest words I had ever heard”.
Graham Mansfield, 73, is on trial for the murder of his wife, Dyanne, 71, at their home in Hale, Greater Manchester, on March 24 last year.
He has claimed he is not guilty of murder, nor an alternative charge of manslaughter, because he was honouring a suicide pact with his wife when he killed her.
Police officers found Mr Mansfield lying in a pool of blood in his kitchen with a self-inflicted knife wound to his neck and his wife of 40 years slumped on a garden chair outside, with her throat slit.
Mrs Mansfield was suffering from terminal lung cancer and had been told in October 2020 that she had two years to live, jurors at Manchenster crown court heard
Dyanne Mansfield was found at her home in Hale, Greater Manchester, on a garden chair outside, with her throat slit.
Giving evidence on Wednesday, Mr Mansfield, a retired baggage handler at Manchester Airport, told the court his wife had asked him to kill her “when things get bad for me”.
It was the saddest words I had ever heard,” he told jurors.
“I said: ‘Dyanne, I will. On one condition. That I go with you.’
“She said: ‘There is nothing wrong with you, there is no reason.’ I said: ‘Dyanne, I can’t live without you.'”
The couple married in Las Vegas in September 1980 and lived a happy life together, Mr Mansfield told the court. They did not have any children.
The defendant said: “It was wonderful. The best thing that had happened to me. You don’t want to speak for someone else, Dyanne is not here, but she felt that way.
“We were very fortunate. We both liked doing the same things: cycling, gardening, walking, playing badminton.”
Mr Mansfield said his wife, a retired import and export clerk, was diagnosed with bladder cancer in 1999, which led to the removal of a kidney in 2004.
Years of good health followed, he said, with 2020 expected to be the “start of another fantastic year”. They had three holidays booked and a 40th wedding anniversary trip planned to the United States.
But ahead of the first national lockdown, his wife developed a “tickly cough”.
In September that year, a doctor told her a scan had shown she had lung cancer and it had spread to her lymph nodes.
Mr Mansfield said: “That was basically when our nightmare began.”
He said they were “shell-shocked” to learn just weeks later that her diagnosis was terminal.
The couple had settled on the garden of their home in Canterbury Road as the “venue” for their suicide pact, Mr Mansfield told police, so the neighbours would not see their bodies.
On the morning of March 24, he phoned 999 and informed the operator he had killed his wife at 9pm the night before, but it had “all gone wrong” when he tried to take his own life.
He would later claim to detectives that he had only called the emergency services so his sister would not make the grim discovery.
Pc Claire Jones, who attended the scene, previously told jurors that Mr Mansfield kept saying “please let me die” when she discovered him badly injured.
Three knives and a lump hammer were found near Mrs Mansfield’s body, the court heard.
Opening the case on Monday, David Temkin QC, prosecuting, said an “important feature” of the case was the absence of any record of Mrs Mansfield’s wishes.
He said: “There is no document, no reported conversation to demonstrate her awareness of, and agreement to any suicide pact.”
The trial continues.