Partner of 13 years will stay with woman who put bleach in his tea

A HUSBAND admitted he still loved the partner who tried to poison him with bleach after a row.

Former postman Colin Thomson was beside his partner Susan Hope as she was sentenced at Norwich Crown Court for trying to get him to drink bleach in his cup of tea after they had argued.

Mr Thomson, who said he felt lucky to be alive, was by her side at court and told the Wisbech Standard: “I still love her and I’m sticking by her. She needs help, not punishment.”

The court had heard that when Mr Thomson took a sip from his cuppa one evening, he instantly knew something was wrong. Hope, his partner of 13 years, had laced it with bleach.

On Thursday a judge said Hope, 54, was fortunate to escape an attempted murder charge, as she instead pleaded guilty to maliciously administering a noxious substance, Domestos bleach.

Rachel Cushing, prosecuting, told the court that the couple had been at their home in Cave’s Close, Terrington St Clement in February this year. They had settled down for a cup of tea at about 7pm.

She added: “Mr Thomson instantly realised it tasted funny. He spat it out and asked her to taste it. She replied: ‘I don’t want it, I’ve put bleach in it’.

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“He was worried and spoke to his son who told him to call the police. When the police interviewed her she said: ‘I know I could have killed him, I’m not stupid’.”

The couple had been through a rough patch, arguing over financial problems.

Speaking after the case, Hope said: “I don’t know why I did it. I’m not a criminal and I’ve never hurt anyone.

“I only put a small amount in and he had just wound me up the wrong way. But I know how serious it could have been.”

William Carter, in mitigation, said Ms Hope had suffered from mental illness for many years.

“Her partner supported police action because he wants her to get the help she needs,” he added. “She is receiving support from the community mental health team and wants that to continue.”

Judge Peter Jacobs ordered her to complete a two year community and supervision order, with the condition that she co-operates with doctors.

He said: “Had this been a determined attempt which you had planned and intended to carry through, you could have been facing an attempted murder charge and received up to 12 years in prison.

“You could have killed somebody - it was not only wicked, it was life threatening.

“But in view of the attitude of your victim and your mental health problems, I see no purpose in sending you to prison.”

Outside court, Mr Thomson said: “We’ve been together for 13 years and it hasn’t always been easy. But you don’t stay with somebody for that long unless there’s some strong connection between you.

“She’s not a bad person. She has had a bipolar disorder all these years and hopefully this will provide her with the motivation to get the help she needs.

“If that happens then something good will come out of all this. It doesn’t change the way I feel and I’ll be there to help her through this.”

Ms Hope said she was relieved court proceedings were over and said she had learnt her lesson.

“I will never do this again because I know, if I do, I’ll go to prison,” she added.

“I was annoyed with him and I just did it in the heat of the moment. I’m glad I didn’t do him any harm and just hope we can get over our problems and enjoy life together.”

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