'Mercy killing' pensioner jailed

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A pensioner who smothered his 75-year-old wife in a "mercy killing" has been jailed for two years.

George Webb, 73, was cleared of murdering his wife Beryl at Sheffield Crown Court yesterday but found guilty of manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

Today, Webb - who has grey balding hair and wears a hearing aid - waved to his family in the public gallery and thanked the judge who jailed him after the sentence was passed.

He then picked up his scarf and gloves before he was led to the cells.

The court heard how Mrs Webb had a number of ailments - some real and some imagined - and had considered suicide for years, She had begged her husband to help her die.

On May 14 this year she attempted to kill herself with 34 lorazepam tablets washed down with brandy and fizzy orange.

When Webb feared this had not worked he smothered his sleeping wife with a plastic bag and a towel, the court heard.

He stayed with her all night and called the police the following morning.

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