Suicide pact wife to be sentenced

Salisbury Journal: Ann Pollen will be sentenced at the Old Bailey, London Ann Pollen will be sentenced at the Old Bailey, London

A vulnerable woman will be sentenced today for killing her domineering and controlling husband in a botched suicide pact.

Ann Pollen pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of her husband Leonard yesterday after an Old Bailey judge indicated she would not go to jail over his death.

The court heard "submissive" Pollen agreed to the death pact with her 58-year-old husband after he was arrested over an allegation of historic child sex abuse in 2012.

In a last will and testament, he wrote: "I have decided to commit suicide and Ann has agreed to join me."

They took pills and alcohol and slashed each other's wrists over two days, after a first attempt failed, the court heard.

Mr Pollen died while his 47-year-old wife came close to death but survived.

The court heard that both intended to kill themselves but Mr Pollen instigated the suicide bid. Pollen was later charged with murder and an alternative charge of manslaughter between August 29 and September 4 2012.

She entered a guilty plea to manslaughter after the Crown decided not to pursue the murder charge and judge Peter Rook QC indicated she would receive a suspended sentence.

The judge said: "What is clear is the deceased is the dominant partner and he was of a domineering nature compared to her."

He added: "She could not contemplate life on her own without her husband."

Prosecutor David Jeremy QC said: "The Crown's case is based on the defendant's conversation with several individuals immediately following the discovery of her and the deceased.

"She slashed his wrists on the Friday night, and on the Saturday after the first attempt had not been successful."

Pollen was "subservient and suggestible" to her husband, he said.

The lawyer went on: "The Crown could not argue the imposition of a suspended sentence would be wrong in principle given the circumstances of the case.

"We have particular in mind the unchallenged evidence relating to the compliant and submissive nature of the defendant."

Defending, Tim Moloney QC, said: "We say this is a truly exceptional case. We submit the circumstances are almost beyond sensible imagination."

Pollen, of Hawthorn Road, Edmonton, north London, is on bail and will be sentenced today.

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