A 59-year-old Corinna Smith poured boiling water over 80-year-old Michael Baines, her husband, after learning that he had sexually assaulted her daughter and son. The crimes happened when her kids were young.
The enraged woman, who was "fuming" with anger, boiled two kettles of water and, using a garden bucket, added three bags of sugar to it.
At the time, Michael was sleeping in the downstairs bedroom. Corinna carried the hot water, went to where her husband was sleeping, and poured the hot water over him.
She was arrested, prosecuted, and sentenced to at least 12 years in prison.
She Added Sugar To Make The Liquid Stay Longer On His Skin
The prosecutors tried to demonstrate how diabolical Corinna was. They argued that she put sugar in hot water to make it "vicious, thicker and stickier," which made it stay on the skin for much longer and cause a greater level of damage.
As expected, Michael suffered extensive injuries, with 36% of his body experiencing burns.
Michael was taken to Whiston Hospital, where he got critical care before taking him to a high dependency unit. Even after getting skin grafts and surgeries, he passed away five weeks after being doused in boiling water.
The incident took place in July 2021. Corinna had heard about the alleged sexual abuse from her daughter in the same month.
According to the daughter, Michael had abused her and her brother for several years while they were still children.
Craig, her brother, took his life in 2007 when he was 25 years old. He had been struggling all his life and even served time in prison at one point for assault.
The man Craig attacked was allegedly a pedophile who had touched him in a sexual manner. He made this revelation to his mother a day before his death.
After several years, Corinna was finally able to connect her son's incident and her daughter's allegations. She then decided to do something about it and came up with a revenge plan against her husband.
Judge Amanda Yip noted that the woman had found it difficult to contain herself after linking Craig's story to what her daughter had confessed to her. While the judge found it understandable that she would get upset over this, she noted that Corinna's decision to kill Michael denied investigators any chance of finding out if the allegations were true.
The judge also noted that Michael's death destroyed his chance of a fair trial since everyone is innocent until proven guilty.
The court also pointed out that Corinna's actions had brought a lot of pain to Michael's children. Unfortunately, the allegations will go unproven.
In the end, Corinna was sentenced to life in prison.
Corinna Knew What She Was Doing
Although the prosecutors agreed that it was understandable why Corinna reacted as she did, she still committed murder. They also said that the allegations about Michael could not be proven even though she believed them to be true when she attacked Michael.
Corinna tried to defend herself by saying she was angry, which made her lose control. Unfortunately, this argument could not stand since the attack appeared to be well planned out.
She spent 13 minutes adding sugar and boiling water to the bucket to ensure it was full.
For this reason, the prosecution argued that what she did was deliberate and carefully considered. As far as they were concerned, Corinna was in total control even though she was acting out of anger to avenge the alleged abuse her kids suffered at his hands.
In conclusion, the prosecution felt that she was guilty of murder because she intended to cause Michael serious harm.
According to the case against her, she left the house after pouring the hot water on him and went to a neighbor. While there, she said:
"I've hurt him really bad, I think I've killed him."
It was the neighbor who called the police and an ambulance. When they arrived, they found Michael in a lot of pain.
The skin on his arm and hand had peeled off, and he told them he was burned all over and wanted to die. He also informed them that Corinna had poured the hot water on him.
Convicted For Murder
In the end, the court agreed that Corinna had no intention of killing Michael. During her interviews with the police, she admitted that she had poured boiling water with sugar over her husband.
Corinna also said that the entire incident felt like a blur because she had "lost it" and was very emotional. She went on to add that she did not attack him out of revenge.
Detective Chief Inspector Paul Hughes said that the woman had killed Michael in a very painful and cruel manner:
"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."
Hughes noted that the sugar added to the water made it thicker and sticker, making it sink into the skin better. He also said that Corinna did not call emergency services after pouring the hot water on him but instead went nine doors away to discuss the incident with a neighbor.
The jury determined that Corinna was guilty and gave her a minimum of 12 years in prison before she could be eligible for parole.