Christopher Shipp stole his wife's savings and pawned her jewellery
Christopher Shipp, 63, stole wife Shirlianne's life savings and pawned her jewellery after he was fleeced in a pension savings investment scam.
When she confronted him about £17,686 which was missing from her account, Shipp grabbed her around the waist and tried to strangle her with one of his ties.
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Shipp told her: "I'll be with you in half an hour, I've got the tablets," as he throttled her in their former home in Lutterworth, Leicestershire, on March 10 last year.
But after Shirlianne, 73, desperately pleaded with her husband of over 30 years about their children and grandchildren he let her go and collapsed onto the bed.
Shipp, of Sapcote, Leics., admitted attempting to murder his wife and stealing £17,686, two rings and a bracelet worth £15,000 which belonged to her.
In extraordinary scenes at Leicester Crown Court on Monday, Shipp was spared jail after his wife made an impassioned plea to the judge.
Mr Shipp grabbed his wife by the waist and tried to strangle her with a tie at their shared home
She believes he didn't want to harm her but he thought he was acting in their best interests.
Prosecutor Philip Gibbs
Shipp was handed a two-year sentence, suspended for two years and ordered to do 200 hours unpaid work and attend a 20-day rehabilitation programme.
Judge Nicholas Dean QC said the "highly unusual case" called for a "merciful and compassionate" sentence, considering the view of the victim.
The court heard the Shipps married in 1985 after meeting five years earlier.
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Judge Dean told Shipp: "As far as I'm able to tell it was a loving and happy marriage for many years.
"You fell under the influence of a conman and began to use money, no doubt pension savings, in the expectation you'd earn a considerable return from your investment – you were the victim of a fraud."
Christopher spared jail after wife Shirley made an impassioned plea to the court judge
Judge Dean said the defendant thought killing his wife would "spare her the anguish" over his own suicide and the scam coming to light.
He said it did not seem to be a serious plan to kill her and she suffered no physical injury although she was deeply "shocked”.
Judge Dean said: "It has led to a loss of trust on her part.
"[The prosecutor] opened the case with fairness and compassion, indicating your wife still loves you dearly and doesn't want you to go to prison."
Mr Shipp was handed a suspended two-year sentence and ordered to do 200 hours unpaid work
The court heard Shipp invested his entire pension savings into an overseas investment scam where he expected a £500,000 return, but got nothing.
He then stole from his wife, pawning a £15,000 bracelet for just £3,000, and raiding her account.
When she confronted him he strangled her with a tie from behind, telling her: "It's the only way, I'll be with you in half an hour, I've got the tablets downstairs."
Prosecutor Philip Gibbs said: "She tried to plead with him about their children and grandchildren and he relented and let her go.
Mr Shipp is now living on his own and the pair remain friends
"He then lay on the bed staring into space.
"She could see he was in a desperate state.
"The victim is in court and she's told officers she doesn't want him to go to prison because he wasn't himself at the time.
"She believes he didn't want to harm her but he thought he was acting in their best interests.
"They continue to be friends and he remains in her life."
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Mrs Shipp even accompanied her husband to the GP after he tried to murder her and he was treated for depression and received counselling.
But his mental health deteriorated and after trying to kill himself he was admitted to Bradgate psychiatric unit at Glenfield Hospital in Leicester.
He later told police about the overseas investment scam and openly admitted to trying to kill his wife.
The court heard she is now living separately from him in a housing association property.
Michael Garvey, defending, said: "It's a sad case and until then he had led an entirely blameless life.
"With the benefit of clarity and hindsight he's able to say how much he regrets what he did.
"He's been extremely foolish in his financial dealings and made a terrible error in how he sought to deal with his problems and it's inflicted a burden on his wife which she shouldn't have had to put up with."
Mrs Shipp accompanied her husband to and from the court, but when asked outside court if she forgave him, she replied: "I'm not sure, I'll have to think about that."
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