Husband, 73, convicted of stabbing his wife to death in Herne Hill

A man has been convicted of the murder of his estranged wife last July after a trial at the Old Bailey.

David Thomas, 73, of Casino Avenue, Herne Hill, was convicted today, Tuesday, of murdering his wife, Sheila Thomas, aged 69, after a two-week trial.

He was remanded in custody and appears for sentencing at the same court on Thursday, 24 January.

The court heard how David Thomas had insisted that Sheila Thomas move out of the family home at Casino Avenue in June 2018 when their marriage broke down.

When Mrs Thomas had moved out, Thomas began to make enquiries about obtaining a gun and told a relative that he had visited Nunhead cemetery to find a place to dispose of his wife’s body. He tried to find out where she was living without success.

On the morning of the murder, Sheila Thomas had arranged with Thomas to collect some of her belongings from the family home. Thomas told his wife he would not be at home when she came to collect her things.

But when she arrived she found he was there. He confronted her and demanded to know where she was living. He then attacked her, inflicting fatal injuries with a knife and a piece of wood.

Police were called at 11.52am on Tuesday, 24 July to the address in Casino Avenue to reports of concern for the welfare of an occupant.

When officers attended they found Thomas downstairs at the property suffering from stab wounds to the stomach. It later became apparent that his injuries were self-inflicted.

London Ambulance Service and London’s Air Ambulance also attended. Despite the best efforts of paramedics, Mrs Thomas was pronounced dead at the scene at 12.37pm.

Thomas was arrested on suspicion of murder and was taken to hospital for treatment to his injuries, which were not life-threatening.

Following medical treatment, Thomas was remanded in custody and was charged with murder on Tuesday, 31 July.

A post-mortem found the cause of Mrs Thomas’s death to have been knife wounds.

Detective Chief Inspector John Massey, the investigating officer, said: “This is a particularly tragic set of circumstances. When the victim and the person responsible are husband and wife there are bound to be devastating effects for the immediate family and friends. I hope this verdict brings a sense of justice for Sheila and those affected, and will allow them to take the next steps in rebuilding their lives.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 020 8721 4868 or by contacting Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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