Louth woman who murdered her partner “put a pillow over his head and sat on him”

Lynn Stallard, 67, before a previous court hearing earlier this year. EMN-150921-170527001

Lynn Stallard, 67, before a previous court hearing earlier this year. EMN-150921-170527001

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A Louth pensioner who smothered her disabled partner following an argument at their home has admitted a charge of murder.

Lynn Stallard, 67, of Eastfield Road, had previously denied the murder of Louis Spires, 68, and was due to stand trial in front of a jury in November.

But on Monday at Lincoln Crown Court she changed her plea to guilty and was remanded in custody to be sentenced on a later date.

James House QC, prosecuting, told the court the couple were involved in a volatile relationship for 18 years before Stallard smothered Mr Spires with either a pillow or a cushion as he lay on a settee in their home.

The court was told Stallard had a previous conviction in 1988 for unlawfully wounding a previous partner. She had also received a police caution following an incident in which she struck Mr Spires with a poker, causing a burn and bruising.

And police had been called to the couple’s home on a number of occasions to deal with reports of domestic violence which in the main were allegations that Mr Spires had assaulted Stallard.

Mr House said: “Louis Spires was registered disabled. He was an alcoholic and he was registered as partially sighted. He had limited mobility.

“It was a relationship of about 18 years in duration. She had for much of that time acted as his carer as his condition deteriorated.

“It is apparent that there was a history of domestic violence. It was volatile at times. The police had been called to incidents. There were a significant number of calls made by Stallard to the police as a result of her being assaulted by the deceased.

“It is clear from text messages sent in the week before that things were not going well. Those that read them put it down to the fact that this was a volatile relationship.”

On the afternoon of May 15, Stallard made a number of phone calls telling people she had killed Mr Spires, the court was told.

As a result police were sent to the house and found the body of Mr Spires.

Stallard told officers: “It was all my fault. We had an argument. I snapped.

“We had a fight. I put a pillow over his head and sat on him.”

Andrew Campbell-Tiech QC, defending, described Stallard as ‘a polite and caring woman’.

He said: “It is a dreadful tragedy that neither of them could find a way through the inevitable conflict that such a relationship engendered.

“She is consumed with guilt. She feels her life is over. This is a tragic case.”

Judge Michael Heath remanded Stallard in custody to await sentence.

He told her: “The sentence I will have to pass on you is prescribed by law. It is life imprisonment but I have to decide how long you should serve before the parole board can consider you for release.”