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 Man who killed in sleep freed

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Tigris
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PostSubject: Man who killed in sleep freed   Sat Nov 21, 2009 10:59 am

http://www.straitstimes.com/BreakingNews/World/Story/STIStory_457329.html

LONDON - A BRITISH man who strangled his wife in his sleep because he dreamt she was an intruder was freed on Friday, after prosecutors withdrew the case against him.

Brian Thomas, who suffers from a sleep disorder, admitted killing his wife Christine while they spent a night in camper van in west Wales in July last year, Swansea Crown court was told.

The 59-year-old, who has two grown-up daughters with his 57-year-old wife, had faced being sent to a psychiatric hospital as prosecutors sought a special verdict of not guilty due to insanity. But on Friday prosecutors said they were no longer seeking that verdict, allowing him to walk free after being in custody since January.

'We are no longer seeking a special verdict of not guilty by reason of insanity,' said prosecutor Paul Thomas. 'It is clear .. that no useful purpose would be served by Mr Thomas being detained in a psychiatric hospital.'

Releasing him from custody on Friday, the judge told Thomas that he bore no responsibility for what he had done, describing him as a 'decent man and devoted husband'.

His brother Raymond voiced relief. 'Family and friends are truly delighted by the outcome today. They were a loving couple and always like that together. He has always been a loving husband and a family man... This was a tragic, tragic episode and we are all very emotional.' -- AFP

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