Arminghall murder trial: Husband found guilty of his wife’s manslaughter after “loss of control” following row over decorating
17:17 14 December 2012
Metal sculptor Thomas Crompton has this afternoon been cleared of murdering his wife of three months with an industrial hammer but was convicted of her manslaughter on the grounds of a “loss of control” following a row over decorating.
Thomas Crompton, 39, killed his wife after first attempting to strangle her and then hit her around the head with a hammer, which he used for his metalwork, at their home in Arminghall, near Norwich.
Mother-of-three Angela was taken to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital after the attack on June 11 and subsequently moved to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge, but died two days later from her head injuries.
Crompton had always admitted killing his wife , but denied murder.
After nearly 11 hours the jury at Norwich Crown Court cleared him of murder but convicted him of manslaughter on the ground of loss of control.
Judge Peter Jacobs adjourned sentence until January 25 and asked for reports including a psychiatric report.
Following the verdict, Angela’s family released a statement through her brother, saying: “When Angela married Tom Crompton in March this year we all hoped she had found the stability and happiness she wanted. A little over three months later he had killed her.
“We do accept that the actions of Tom Crompton on 11 June 2012 were out of character. However, those actions have deprived three young children of their mother and put our entire family through a long and very painful ordeal.
“We are disappointed that the defence case focused on Angela’s character and personal problems as if seeking to justify Tom Crompton’s actions.
“We do not believe his actions on that day can ever be justified. It is true that Angela was a troubled person and we hope that she has found the peace she was always searching for in life.
“It is also our hope that, in time, Tom Crompton will be able to come to terms with what he did and with the consequences of his actions.
“Finally, our family would like to express our thanks to the Norfolk and Norwich University and Addenbrooke’s Hospitals who cared for Angela before she died and to Norfolk Police for supporting us throughout the last six difficult months.”
During the trial the court heard how the couple started to row after she had put some of his artwork into a box and he was concerned items could get broken or damaged.
After killing his wife Crompton had confessed to a work colleague Bjorn Fiskvatn, what he had done.
He told the jury how he saw Crompton standing in front of him with a blood-stained hammer and was “calm and pale”.
Crompton broke down in tears when he gave his evidence and told the jury how he could not believe he was capable of killing “the woman he loved”.
Detective Chief Inspector Neil Firm, of Norfolk Constabulary, said following the verdict: “This was a brutal attack on someone Crompton claimed to love. Violence is never a good resolution to an argument and this is a tragic end to this couple’s relationship, leaving their children and families devastated.”