A man killed his partner with a champagne bottle after she poured scalding water into his lap as he slept, a court heard today.
Andrew Tinley, aged 36, was jailed for five years at Exeter Crown Court after pleading guilty at an earlier hearing to the manslaughter of 26-year-old Sally Rose, assistant manager of a building society.
Mr Justice Owen said the “horrific killing”, just before midnight on April 9, happened against the background of the disintegration of their relationship and her involvement with another man.
The judge said there was a “sudden and temporary loss of self-control in anger” on Tinley’s part.
He said Tinley, studying business and finance at Plymouth University, struck her with what was probably a “single but very violent blow”.
The judge told Tinley, of Louville Close, Goodrington, Paignton, Devon: “You will never be free from the enormity and horror of what you have done.”
Prosecutor Sarah Munro QC told the court it was clear that the couple had been arguing before the killing.
Tinley’s last recollection was “nodding off” in front of the TV in the lounge – then coming to in “extreme pain”.
A pan of boiling water had been poured over his hips, legs and abdomen, he said later.
The prosecutor told the court that Tinley said to the police that he “shot up off the settee” and saw someone in front of him holding a knife in their hand.
Tinley said there was a champagne bottle on the floor which he picked up and used to hit the person.
Then he said everything was “just surreal” and it was like “looking in from the outside”. He did not know what happened after that or whether he passed out.
But when he came to, his partner was on the floor and he telephoned 999.
In the emergency call he said he had hit his partner over the head after she threw boiling water over him.
The court was told he suffered 1% burns and that near his partner’s body were a kitchen knife, an unopened bottle of champagne and a saucepan.
The prosecutor said the victim had suffered a “gross fracture of the skull”.