An “utterly devoted” husband who battered his dementia-stricken wife to death with an iron bar to avoid seeing her move to a care home was spared jailed today.
It was a tragic promise that led Lawrence Franks, 84, to kill his beloved spouse of 62 years in a heartbreaking “act of mercy”.
In the last ten years of her life, Patricia Franks, 86, begged her husband never to let her be taken into a care home.
But as the dementia-sufferer’s condition deteriorated and she was no longer able to recognize him, frail Mr. Franks found it increasingly difficult to cope.
Mrs. Franks was practically immobile and incontinent when her partner began to realize he could not manage on his own.
Days before reaching breaking point he suffered a hernia due to his physical excursions in moving her to and from her bed and favorite armchair.
Facing the ”inevitable prospect” of 86-year-old Mrs. Franks having to leave their matrimonial property in Gatley, near Stockport, Greater Manchester, he picked up a scaffolding pole and repeatedly hit her over the back of the head.
Believing the blows had not been fatal, he then smothered her with a pillow.
Manchester Crown Court heard how Mrs. Franks was ”completely unaware” of the violence being meted out on her. She was found dead when police were called to the property.
Mr. Franks, a former lifeguard and bus driver, was later charged with murder following the 9am tragedy on Sunday July 8.
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SOURCE: The Sun, Charlie Parker