Killer husband who murdered wife after row over mashed potato dies in prison

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Colin Adlard, 72, launched the brutal attack while his wife was asleep.

Warning: some readers may find this content distressing.

A husband who bludgeoned his wife to death after a row over mashed potato has died in prison, weeks after signing a ‘Do Not Resuscitate’ order.

Colin Adlard, 72, brutally attacked his wife of 30 years with a hammer while she slept following an argument the night before over the quality of her mash.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

During his sentencing hearing, the court heard how Aldard had lost his temper following a series of rows with his wife Wendy, 59, and launched the attack because she was always “shouting at him and nagging him”.

Colin Adlard died while serving a prison sentence for killing his wife of 30 years (Photo: SWNS)Colin Adlard died while serving a prison sentence for killing his wife of 30 years (Photo: SWNS)
Colin Adlard died while serving a prison sentence for killing his wife of 30 years (Photo: SWNS) | SWNS

The 59-year-old had been asleep in bed at about 5.30am on 7 January 2011 - the morning after the argument about mashed potato - when Adlard went berserk and delivered the fatal blows.

The former geophysicist, of Yardley Hastings, Northamptonshire, struck Wendy with a lump hammer up to five times causing fatal head and brain injuries, the court heard.

Following the attack, Adlard called 999 and told police he believed he had killed his wife. He said: “I think I’ve just killed my wife. I hit her over the head with a hammer while she was in bed."

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Police and paramedics attended the home, where Wendy was still alive, but she was pronounced dead on arrival at Northampton General Hospital

The couple had been directors of Born Free Equine Health, a tack shop based in Old Stratford.

The 72-year-old pleaded guilty to murder and was jailed for life in prison in September 2011. He was serving his sentence in HMP Gartree in Leicestershire when he died in hospital last year.

It has been confirmed that Adlard died of heart failure in prison after signing a ‘Do Not Resuscitate’ order, or DNR order, weeks earlier. He would have been eligible for parole in 2027 after being ordered to serve at least 16 years behind bars.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

An independent investigation into his death in June last year states that Aldard had been suffering from multiple heart problems, including heart failure, heart disease, kidney disease and anaemia.

A report from the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman (POP) says he was in “poor health” when he was moved to Gartree Prison in March 2012 and had previously been provided with a wheelchair as his mobility grew worse.

In April 2022, the 72-year-old was treated by a prison nurse after he complained of shortness of breath and he was taken to hospital for further investigations. In May he signed a DNR order, a month before he died.

Are you experiencing domestic abuse? You are not alone - Refuge’s freephone 24-hour national domestic abuse helpline is available on 0808 2000 247.