Page last updated at 14:46 GMT, Wednesday, 28 May 2008 15:46 UK

Poison cake woman spared prison

Yvonne Godwin
Yvonne Godwin baked a cake laced with rat poison

A former hospital cook who baked a fruitcake laced with rat poison for her husband has been given a 12-month suspended prison sentence.

Yvonne Godwin, 56, of Pilley Crescent, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire put two teaspoons of poison into the cake for her partner of 33 years, Robert Godwin.

She had earlier pleaded guilty to attempting to administer poison with intent to injure, aggravate or annoy.

She collapsed in the dock at Gloucester Crown Court when she heard the verdict.

You are not a criminal in any shape or form
Judge Jamie Tabor

Defending barrister Emily Durston presented the court with medical records dated back to 1975, which revealed numerous occasions when Mrs Godwin, a mother-of-five, had reported domestic abuse to her GP.

The barrister said: "She was at breaking point. There had been a long history of abuse."

Yvonne Godwin was recovering from cancer earlier this year when she discovered her partner had been unfaithful and was not "seeing things very straight at all," the court heard.

She made two cakes laced with rat poison and had told a neighbour she wanted partner Robert Godwin dead after he started an affair with a friend's sister.

The cake involved in the case
Lumps of poison could be seen in the cake

Outside the court Robert Godwin admitted to BBC News he had been a bad husband.

Judge Jamie Tabor said he was being lenient as Yvonne Godwin had been in an abusive relationship.

"In my judgment (this) meant you weren't seeing things straight at all.

"You've been a mother to several children. You've worked hard in several places of employment. You are not a criminal in any shape or form."

Yvonne Godwin was also ordered to stay away from Cheltenham and not to communicate with her former husband for 12 months.

Cake poison woman pleads guilty
02 Apr 08 |  Gloucestershire
Wife accused of cake 'poisoning'
19 Mar 08 |  Gloucestershire
Wife accused of poisoning husband
12 Mar 08 |  Gloucestershire

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