TV host’s half-brother killed wife to ‘end pain’

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THE half-brother of TV entertainer Leslie Crowther killed his wife of 57 years because of the strain of looking after her, the Old Bailey heard yesterday.

Frank Crowther, 88, was found with his wrists cut lying in bed next to the body of wife Winifred, 83, last December.

He had become depressed because Mrs Crowther’s mental and physical condition had deteriorated, and that snow outside meant the couple could not go out.

Mrs Crowther was covered in blood and had suffered 58 stab wounds, said Philip Bennetts, QC, prosecuting. There were two knives on the bedside table and one on the floor of the bedroom of their home in Cheam, Surrey.

Crowther was taken to hospital where he was found to have taken an overdose of drugs in a suicide attempt.

Mr Bennetts said Crowther could not remember killing his wife but later told a doctor: “I felt sorry for her because I loved her so. I could not bear to see her suffer. It was not hate. It was with love.”

Mr Bennetts added: “Over the period of their marriage, Frank and Winifred had a loving and affectionate relationship.”

Crowther, who entered court using a walking frame, pleaded guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

He was ordered to be detained in a psychiatric hospital.

Judge Gerald Gordon said it was not necessary to impose a restriction on when he could be released because he was now too frail to be a danger to others.

He told Crowther: “What happened is a tragedy not only for your wife and yourself but for your son.”

Rock Tansey, QC, for Crowther, said: “This killing was totally out of character. He was totally devoted to her. ”

Crowther was the game show host’s half-brother from his father’s first marriage. Leslie Crowther, who died aged 63 in 1996, presented Stars In Their Eyes and The Price Is Right.