Husband Builds Electric Chair To His Kill Wife

Andrew Castle set up the home-made electric chair after his wife Margaret asked to end their 18-year marriage

Andrew Castle set up the home-made electric chair after his wife Margaret asked to end their 18-year marriage

A jilted husband who tried to kill his wife with a home-made electric chair after she asked him for a divorce has been jailed for 10 years for attempted murder.

Andrew Castle, 61, was so furious with his wife Margaret that he rigged a metal armchair up to the mains – and invited her into his garage ‘for a chat’.

Castle asked his unwitting wife of 18 years to sit in the chair with the intention of knocking her unconscious with a rubber cosh and throwing the switch.

But Margaret, 61, got up out of the seat before he could carry out his plan, leading to a violent struggle between the couple in which her husband hit her several times with the cosh.

She escaped through a side door, but the fight continued outside their £110,000 seaside bungalow in Knott End-on-Sea in Poulton-Le-Fylde, Lancashire, before a passer-by intervened and called police.

Margaret was treated for minor head injuries at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary. Her husband was found in the back garden with self-inflicted knife wounds to his wrists after grabbing a blade from the kitchen in a bid to commit suicide.

He was sentenced at Preston Crown Court after pleading guilty to attempted murder.

Outdoor struggle: The couple fought outside their home in Knott End On Sea, Lancs, after Margaret had escaped from the garage

Outdoor struggle: The couple fought outside their home in Knott End On Sea, Lancs, after Margaret had escaped from the garage

Officers who later examined the garage found a length of electric cable, running from a 13 amp plug, with one end via a lamp which had an electric light bulb in it, to the bare and exposed cable ends of the cable.

When switched on at the plug, the live and neutral wires would have completed a circuit if touched together, or touched to the chair

According to neighbours, the couple who went on walking and cruising holidays together, appeared to be happy and content until March this year when she told him she wanted to end the marriage.

One said, ‘We couldn’t believe it when we heard what happened. We believe Andrew had in effect built his own electric chair to kill Margaret because she wanted a divorce.

‘He managed to lure her into the garage on the pretext of them talking about it. He was about to do the deed but there was a struggle and she escaped.

‘Margaret a is lovely person and everyone is very distressed that this happened. We always thought they were a lovely couple who enjoyed going on walking and cruising holidays together.

‘Margaret was understandably in a terrible state after what happened to her and she moved out of the house. It’s incredible to think this man could have gone to such lengths to get even because of a divorce.’

Castle later claimed he was ‘simply unable to cope’ with the divorce and found it ‘overwhelming.’ A psychiatric report concluded he had obsessive compulsive disorder and an adjustment disorder.

Detective Inspector Martin Clague, from Lancashire Police said: ‘It was a distressing case. He intended to kill his wife and had set plans in place to do this.

‘There was an electric cable and a lamp attached to that for electrocution purposes. It is rare for someone to attempt to kill their wife, or anyone, by these means.

‘The fact Castle has entered a guilty plea at least saves the family from having to go through the ordeal of listening to the evidence which could have been very distressing for them.’

‘I am pleased with the result and I hope that Mrs Castle and her family will now be able to move on. We have specially trained officers continuing to supporting Mrs Castle and her family and will continue to do so for as long as they need it.’

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