After attacking her, Winnister went to the pub where he ordered a pint of beer and a packet of crisps.
He was later discovered by police in a nearby graveyard covered in blood stained clothing, telling officers: “I’ve just had a terrible day.”
The court heard the couple’s relationship had deteriorated in late 2019 after Mrs Winnister sent a text to her husband meant for the handyman which she signed off with a kiss.
Winnister became convinced they were having an affair and his paranoia was fuelled during lockdown with him accusing his wife of trying to poison him.
The judge who sentenced him said Winnister had been in the grip of an acute mental disorder suffering from severe depression with psychosis.
Under the terms of Mrs Winnester’s will, drawn up in 2013, her husband stood to inherit her estate valued between £2 million and £2.5 million.
Owen Curry – representing Winnister – explained that while the law prevented a person convicted of murder or manslaughter profiting from their crime, there was a loophole that could be applied in exceptional circumstances.
Low level of guilt makes case ‘exceptional’
The court heard that if Winnister was not to benefit, the will would be split between her default heirs, her mother, Sheila, nephew James Higgins, friend Beverley Johnson, niece Kathryn Cox, great-niece Isabelle Cox and nephew Daniel Andrews.
He suggested Winnister’s case was “exceptional” because of his relatively low level of guilt and he should be awarded a share of the estate along with the other beneficiaries.
Mr Curry explained that Winnister was a wealthy man in his own right, telling the judge he was only looking for a relatively small proportion of his late wife’s legacy.
In his ruling, High Court judge Chief Master Karen Shuman ruled that Winnister can inherit the agreed portion of his wife’s fortune.
The rest of Suzanne’s fortune will be divided among her seven heirs, the court heard.
The judge will give her reasons for approving the settlement at a later date.