13 Feb 2014

Wife found guilty of manslaughter

8:01 pm on 13 February 2014

A Christchurch woman who stabbed her husband to death in their bed has been found guilty of manslaughter but not guilty of murder in the High Court on Thursday.

Lucille Scollay in the dock at the high court in Christchurch.

Lucille Scollay in the dock at the High Court in Christchurch. Photo: CHRISTCHURCH STAR / Pool

Lucille Sarah Scollay was accused of killing her husband of 20 years Guy Christian Scollay at their St Albans home in February 2013.

The 45-year-old has always admitted her actions, but her lawyers argued that she never intended to kill her severely depressed husband - instead she wanted to shock him into making a change to their lives.

They said the night she killed the 48-year-old, she had only intended to shock him and make him understand her desperation.

The jury deliberated for just under four hours on Thursday before returning their verdict of guilty of manslaughter about 3.30pm. Scollay wept and thanked jurors.

Several family members of both Lucille and Guy Scollay were in court this week and in a joint statement said that they held no animosity towards her for the tragedy.

They said a son is lost, a wife has lost her husband and a son will now have to be without both father and mother.

In summing up the case, Justice Mander said jurors must consider what Scollay's state of mind was like the night she stabbed her husband. He said they must use their wisdom and knowledge of human nature to reach a verdict.

Outside court, Scollay's lawyer Rupert Glover told Radio New Zealand's Checkpoint programme she may have needed professional help but never got or sought it.

"Her husband Guy ... had been seeing a psychiatrist for two years, but it didn't seem to be making any difference. So Lucille, perhaps if she'd realised just the extent of what was going on inside her, she might have been able to do something about it. But whether or not that would've prevented it, who knows."