LONDON (Reuters) - A British woman who tried to kill her husband by poisoning his Christmas drink of sparkling fruit wine with anti-freeze was jailed for 15 years on Monday after being undone by a spelling mistake and a trail of text messages.
Following family arguments, Jacqueline Patrick, 55, twice tried to kill her husband Douglas, 70, in October and on Christmas Day 2013, by spiking his cherry Lambrini, a drink favored by teenagers looking to get drunk on a low budget.
“Perhaps most shocking of all was the note she gave to the London Ambulance Service purporting to be from her husband, stating that he did not wish to be resuscitated,” said Detective Inspector Tracey Miller, of London’s Metropolitan Police, in a statement.
The forged note showed a misspelling of the word dignity as “dignerty”. When police later asked her to write the word, Jacqueline Patrick made the same mistake.
The couple’s daughter Katherine, 21, was sentenced to three years in jail after admitting to inciting her mother to poison her father, while Jacqueline pleaded guilty to two counts of attempted murder at the family’s south London home.
Douglas Patrick was rushed to hospital fighting for his life, and tests revealed he was suffering from anti-freeze poisoning.
“His wife was informed who then told doctors she thought Mr Patrick may have drunk a blue liquid by mistake. The hospital, finding it strange that she hadn’t volunteered this information earlier, called police,” said the police statement.
Mother and daughter’s mobile phones were seized and revealed a series of incriminating exchanges, including “I got the stuff I will give him some later delete txt tell no one ok”, and “He feels sick again I gave him more delete this”.
Reporting by Estelle Shirbon; editing by Stephen Addison