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Grandmother 'suffocated ex-partner'

A grandmother suffocated her terminally-ill former partner with a Tottenham Hotspur plastic bag because she believed he was "better off" dead, a court has heard.

Joyce Evans, 69, was the sole carer for Colin Ballinger, who was house-bound after being diagnosed with alcoholic cirrhosis of the liver and had been told he had a year to live.

She is alleged to have strangled ex-soldier Mr Ballinger, 66, and put plastic bags over his head before knocking on a neighbour's door and saying: "I think I've killed Colin. He was getting on my nerves."

When concerned neighbours went to help, Mr Ballinger was found lying on his back on the living room of the flat the pair shared in Islington, north London, with blood coming from the side of his head, the Old Bailey heard.

Evans went back into the flat and was seen kneeling down next to Mr Ballinger, telling him: "Don't worry babe, baby, go to sleep," the jury was told. She is also alleged to have closed his eyes, saying: "You're better off like this."

Prosecutor Zoe Johnson said paramedics found a pulse and tried to revive Mr Ballinger but Evans, who had been drinking vodka that evening and appeared intoxicated, tried to stop them, saying: "Leave him alone, he's dead, he's gone."

Mr Ballinger was taken to hospital but died the next morning, on July 31, 2012. A post-mortem examination found he died from the combined effects of strangulation and being suffocated with a plastic bag.

Ms Johnson told the court: "The defendant strangled Colin for at least 15 seconds, and probably longer, and with enough force to cause a fracture to his voice box."

When Evans was arrested, she is said to have told police: "I'm guilty. I put the bag over his head. I should have just topped myself after I did it."

Evans, of Islington, north London, denies a single allegation of murder.


From Belfast Telegraph