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Wife jailed after ‘catastrophically’ injuring husband by firing his shotgun

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A Lincolnshire woman who “catastrophically” injured her husband when she fired his shotgun has been jailed for two years.

Mary Jane Taylor, 57, left her husband, Alan, 58, with a “useless” left arm when she discharged two shots from the weapon, a court heard.

Lincoln Crown Court was told Mrs Taylor could not remember what happened after she picked up the shotgun and had no intention of causing serious injury to her husband.

The couple, who run a garden centre together in South Lincolnshire, were visiting a plant nursery in Whaplode when two shots were fired from the weapon.

Jon Dee, prosecuting, said exactly what happened may never be known.

Mr Dee told the court: “At around 10am Mrs Taylor was in possession of her husband’s shotgun.

“She pressed the trigger, two shots were fired. The first shot hit the roof, but the second hit her husband’s left elbow.”

Mrs Taylor made two calls from the scene to the ambulance service and her adult son.

“In both she said she had grabbed the shotgun and it had gone off,” Mr Dee added.

The court heard there was evidence of “unhappiness” in the couple’s marriage and notes suggested Mrs Taylor was considering suicide.

Various internet searches referencing strangulation, how long people can hold their breath and putting electric items in the bath were also found but Mr Dee said they could also be related to the couple’s health and safety concerns.

During police interview Mrs Taylor said the incident was a reckless accident as she was carrying the gun.

Mrs Taylor was charged with attempted murder but the prosecution accepted the lesser charge of inflicting grievous bodily harm.

Chris Geeson, mitigating, described the case as “unique.”

Mr Geeson told the court: “Mrs Taylor is guilty of a reckless and dangerous act.

“There can be no question of intending to cause injury to her husband. She is extremely remorseful.

“Alan Taylor visits his wife as often as he can, as often as once a week, and he wants her to come home as soon as possible.”

Mrs Taylor, of Little London, Long Sutton, admitted inflicting grievous bodily harm to her husband on December 8, 2016.

Passing sentence Judge Michael Heath said much of the case would remain a mystery.

The judge said: “The prosecution accept there was no intention to kill or to less seriously injure your husband.

“But on that morning of December 8 you for some unbeknown reason picked up his shotgun.”

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