Woman who killed her husband by pouring boiling water and sugar over him found guilty of murder

The day before the attack took place, Corinna Smith was described as very upset at a rumour circulating about her husband that she believed to be true.

A woman who “brutally and painfully” killed her husband of 38 years by pouring boiling water and sugar over him has been found guilty of murder.

Corinna Smith, 59, mixed the liquid with three bags of sugar leaving 80-year-old Michael Baines with 36 per cent burns to his body and told a neighbour “I think I’ve killed him”.

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The day before the attack took place, Smith was described as angry and very upset at a rumour circulating about her husband that she believed to be true.

A woman who “brutally and painfully” killed her husband of 38 years by pouring boiling water and sugar over him has been found guilty of murder (Photo: SWNS)
A woman who “brutally and painfully” killed her husband of 38 years by pouring boiling water and sugar over him has been found guilty of murder (Photo: SWNS)

The court was told that Smith, also known as Corinna Baines, was also her husband’s carer.

Police said the pensioner was rushed to Whiston Hospital in the early hours of 14 July, 2020 in a serious condition.

Despite the best efforts of medical staff, Mr Baines sadly died a month later on 18 August.

On the day of the incident, Smith returned home and filled a bucket from her garden with boiling water and mixed it with nearly 7lbs of sugar.

As Mr Baines lay asleep in bed she poured the contents over his arms and torso and then left the property in the Wirral, Cheshire.

She went to a nearby house and banged on the front door until the occupant answered.

He contacted police and the ambulance service after hearing her say “I’ve hurt him really bad, I think I’ve killed him.”

A short time later officers arrived at the address.

They found Michael in excruciating pain and whimpering in bed with the skin on his right arm and hand peeling off.

Michael was taken to hospital and remained in the burns unit for two weeks in a stable condition before he deteriorated and passed away.

Following the incident, Smith was initially charged with grievous bodily harm – shortly after the death of her husband she was charged with murder.

A jury at Chester Crown Court on Tuesday (15 June) found Smith guilty of murder following a five-day trial.

She will be sentenced on Friday 9 July.

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‘My thoughts continue to be with his family at this incredibly difficult time’

Detective Chief Inspector Paul Hughes, from Cheshire Constabulary, said: “Smith killed her husband Michael in such a painful and cruel way.

“To throw boiling water over someone when they are asleep is absolutely horrific. To also mix three bags of sugar with the water showed the determination she had to cause serious harm.

“The sugar placed into the water makes it vicious. It becomes thicker and stickier and sinks into the skin better.

"It left Michael in agony and rather than call the emergency services she wasted time by going to a house nine doors away to tell a neighbour, who she wasn’t close to, what she had done.

“Michael was an elderly man who fought for his life after the attack but sadly in the end he passed away. My thoughts continue to be with his family at this incredibly difficult time.”

Jayne Morris of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said: “Corinna Baines killed Michael Baines in a particularly brutal and painful way.

“She confessed to the manslaughter of her husband but the CPS refused to accept that.

"The CPS case was that her actions were deliberate and considered.

"She was clearly upset about the dispute between herself, her daughter and her husband but the evidence demonstrated that she was in control and acted in anger when she poured the lethal mixture over her husband and wanted to extract vengeance.

“The Crown Prosecution Service said she intended either to kill Michael or to cause him really serious harm and so pursued a prosecution for murder.

“The jury have agreed with us and found her guilty. This is a tragic case that has devastated the family of Mr and Mrs Baines and our thoughts remain with them.”

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