Wife convicted of murdering her husband of 38 years by pouring boiling water and sugar over him

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The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said that Corinna Baines, 59, killed Michael Baines on 14 July 2020 at their home in Highfield Road in Neston.

They had been married for 38 years and Corinna was her husband’s carer. The CPS said she killed him after a family dispute.

Both had children from previous relationships and one son together. On the day before the killing, there was a dispute between Mrs Baines, her daughter and Mr Baines. The CPS said in court that the basis of this dispute was never substantiated.

Shortly after midnight on the morning of 14 July 2020, Corinna Baines took a bucket from her garden, boiled up two kettles of water and mixed the boiling water with three bags of sugar.

She then went into a downstairs bedroom of the house she shared with her husband where he was in bed and poured the boiling liquid over him.

The point of the sugar was to make the liquid thicker and stickier, so that it stayed on the skin and caused greater damage. Michael Baines sustained significant burns to more than a third of his body.

He was later taken to Whiston Hospital Burns Unit, was stabilised in the critical care unit and later in the high dependency unit.

He was in hospital for five weeks, being treated for his injuries and for various complications but, unfortunately, died on 18 August 2020.

Corinna Baines had been shopping with her daughter the day before the killing. Her husband rang her later in the day and seemed impatient for her to come home. Her daughter criticised his treatment of her and there was a dispute about Mr Baines.

Corinna Baines was said to be livid at the time but appeared to have calmed down when her daughter and her son-in-law took her home later.

However, as the evening went on, she rang other relatives to talk about what had happened and eventually carried out the brutal act.

She left the house and went to a neighbour’s house, sobbing, and said, “I’ve hurt him, I’ve hurt him really bad. I think I’ve killed him.”

The police were called. They found Mr Baines in the house, moaning and in extreme pain. Mrs Baines changed her story initially but then admitted what she had done when her husband died, but said she had done it when she had lost control.

Ater a trial at Chester Crown Court, a jury found her guilty of murder. She will be sentenced on 9 July 2021.

Crown Advocate Jayne Morris of CPS Mersey-Cheshire said: “Corinna Baines killed Michael Baines in a particularly brutal and painful way.

“She confessed to the manslaughter of her husband but the CPS refused to accept that. The CPS case was that her actions were deliberate and considered. She was clearly upset about the dispute between herself, her daughter and her husband but the evidence demonstrated that she was in control and acted in anger when she poured the lethal mixture over her husband and wanted to extract vengeance.

“The Crown Prosecution Service said she intended either to kill Michael or to cause him really serious harm and so pursued a prosecution for murder.

“The jury have agreed with us and found her guilty. This is a tragic case that has devastated the family of Mr and Mrs Baines and our thoughts remain with them.”