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Peter Hartshorne-Jones was mentally impaired when he shot dead his wife at their Barham farmhouse




A man who killed his wife at their farmhouse just outside Ipswich was mentally impaired when he shot her.

Registered gun dealer Peter Hartshorne-Jones, 52, shot dead his wife Silke at their home in The Green, Barham, in May and had previously admitted to manslaughter by reason of diminished responsibility.

Ipswich Crown Court was today told two consultant forensic psychiatrists assessed Hartshorne-Jones in prison and trawled through his medical records.

Police officers at the scene outside a farmhouse in Barham in Suffolk, where Silke Hartshorne-Jones was found with gunshot wounds. (Sam Russell/ PA) (41436089)
Police officers at the scene outside a farmhouse in Barham in Suffolk, where Silke Hartshorne-Jones was found with gunshot wounds. (Sam Russell/ PA) (41436089)

They concluded at the time he shot his 41-year-old wife he had an abnormality of mental function, which gave an explanation for his actions.

Judge Martyn Levett remanded Hartshorne-Jones in custody. He will be sentenced at the courthouse in January.

Hartshorne-Jones had called emergency services after he had shot her with a shotgun in a bedroom in the early hours of May 3.

She was taken by ambulance to Ipswich Hospital, but she was pronounced dead at 6.40 that morning.

After the shooting Hartshorne-Jones told officers from Suffolk Police: "I am sorry, I don't know what came over me." He later said: "I didn't mean to kill her"

At the time of his wife's death he sold vintage shotguns for game shooting and ran a recruitment agency hiring staff for the catering industry. Mrs Hartshorne-Jones worked as a lawyer in London.

Earlier this year Suffolk's senior coroner Nigel Parsley opened and adjourned the inquest into her death until the end of criminal proceedings.

A post mortem confirmed her death was the result of two gunshot wounds.

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