Husband who tried to strangle sleeping wife: ‘Sorry, I had to get rid of you’

editorial image
Share this article
Have your say

A HUSBAND who started strangling his sleeping wife with a silk scarf and told her “sorry, I need to get rid of you” has been put behind bars.

Samantha Charlton was woken by husband Michael kneeling on her chest, staring straight at her with a tight grip around her neck.

The terrified 40-year-old brought the attack at their Sunderland home to an end using “all the strength she could muster” to push him away.

Mrs Charlton told police after the attack in February: “I had good reason to believe I was going to die.

“I think I would be dead if I hadn’t managed to push him away.”

Mrs Charlton managed to flee the house and run to a nearby friend for help.

When police arrived at the family home Charlton was lying on the bed crying and told officers “I’ve tried to murder my wife; I put the scarf around her neck to do away with her”.

Charlton, of Townsend Road, Thorney Close, Sunderland, admitted threatening to kill his wife of 10 years and assault.

Judge Simon Hickey jailed the 43-year-old, who has a previous conviction for threatening to kill a previous partner back in 2001, for two years and eight months.

The judge told him: “What aggravates the seriousness of this case even further is you threatened to kill another partner in the past.”

Judge Hickey said the attack must have been terrifying for Mrs Charlton and added: “The concern of the court is, in reading the reports and looking at your record, is whether on some future date, under similar pressures, you may again snap and do something similar or perhaps something worse and carry out the threat.”

The court heard the couple had been to a funeral on the day leading up to the attack and Mrs Charlton was asleep in bed when her husband returned home drunk. Prosecutor Simon Worthy told the court: “She woke up to find the defendant in the bedroom. She looked up and found the defendant kneeling on her chest, staring into her eyes.

“She described his eyes as looking wide.

“He had a purple coloured scarf, a present from his mother to her, in his hands.

“He had the ends of the scarf around his hands and had a strong grip of it.

“He than wrapped the scarf around her neck and said ‘I’m sorry, I have to get rid of you’. He was looking straight at her. She said she assumed he was going to kill her.”

Robin Patton, defending, said the couple were facing huge financial pressures at the time and Charlton had never properly addressed problems he had in the past.

Mr Patton said: “All the pressures got too much for him.”

Mr Patton said Charlton hopes to sort out the problems with his wife so they can stay together as a couple.

Back in 2001, Charlton turned to violence after another wife left him for a woman.

Charlton rammed the other woman’s car and armed himself with a broomhandle with knives pushed through it before threatening to kill both women.

Charlton, then 30, admitted making threats to kill along with a series of charges. He received a 12 month sentence suspended for two years.