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Last Updated: Thursday, 8 June 2006, 17:48 GMT 18:48 UK
Woman guilty of shooting husband
Linda West
Linda West had been married for nine weeks
A woman who shot her husband dead as she danced to a Shania Twain song has been convicted of his murder.

Linda West, 49, said she was drunkenly dancing to the song, Man! I Feel Like A Woman, when the shotgun went off.

But the prosecution said West had loaded up the gun and deliberately shot Gregory West, 45, at their Southampton flat in May last year.

West was found guilty by a jury on Thursday after a two-and-a-half week trial at Winchester Crown Court.

Shot in heart

Judge Guy Boney QC, adjourned the case for sentencing on a date to be fixed.

The trial was a re-trial after the jury in the first case failed to reach a verdict on the murder charge, and an alternative count of manslaughter, both of which, West had denied.

Giving evidence at Winchester Crown Court during the trial, West said she and her husband of only nine weeks were drunk when he decided she should dance to the track with the shotgun.

Grabbing hold of the replica gun, she said she banged it on the floor at the abrupt end of the song so as to "take a bow" and the gun went off.

The blast hit her husband, a marine engineer, in the heart, killing him instantly as he sat in a chair.

Faulty weapon

West, who works as a carer, said she did not know how the gun had become loaded.

But the prosecution claimed she had deliberately loaded her husband's double-barrelled weapon and blasted him at close range because of a heated row that evening.

Several neighbours reported hearing the argument and eventually the loud bang of the weapon firing.

The court also heard that when the gun was examined by an expert he found the safety catch did not work and if the gun was dropped it could go off.

Speaking outside court, Det Supt Andy Stewart said: "I am very pleased with the guilty verdict.

"Linda came up with one story in the witness box and the jury clearly did not believe her."




SEE ALSO:
Wife shows how she shot husband
31 May 06 |  Hampshire


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