Former executive pleads guilty to manslaughter of wife

A former BT executive has admitted killing his wife at their home in south-east London.

Leslie Winnister, 68, pleaded guilty to the manslaughter by diminished responsibility of 66-year-old Suzanne Winnister in Bexley on the evening of September 8 last year.

The victim was discovered by family members at the couple’s home in Becketts Close and was pronounced dead at the scene after police and paramedics arrived.

Winnister was later found in a nearby pub.

A post mortem gave Mrs Winnister’s cause of death as head and neck injury.

The victim had previously had a career in banking but was retired by the time of her death.

Suzanne Winnister (Metropolitan Police/PA)
Suzanne Winnister (Metropolitan Police/PA)

At a plea hearing on Thursday, the defendant entered a guilty plea to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility at the Old Bailey.

Psychiatric reports for both the prosecution and the defence concluded that a defence of diminished responsibility was available, the court heard.

Winnister, who is being treated at the Bracton centre medium secure unit in Dartford, was accompanied in the dock by two nurses.

Judge Wendy Joseph QC remarked it was “a sad case”.

Listing the case for sentence on June 25, Judge Joseph warned Winnister that a wide range of options were available to the court, from prison to a psychiatric hospital.

Several members of the Winnisters’ family were seated in court, as well as some friends.