Husband: Why I killed

2010-12-07 00:00

MURDER accused Emmanuel Donnelly will know his fate today after pleading guilty to murdering his wife Tania (30) in April.

In his plea statement to the high court in Pietermaritzburg yesterday, he said he was driven over the edge by his wife’s infidelity.

Donnelly (35) initially faced four counts, including murder, theft, unlawful possession of a firearm and unlawful possession of ammunition. The state withdrew the last charge yesterday.

In the statement Donnelly confessed to intentionally stealing a revolver from a colleague, which he used to murder his wife.

He said the couple met in 1993 and married in 1994 after they had a child.

When Tania fell pregnant she was a young teenager and Donnelly was convicted of statutory rape and sentenced to two years’ jail, suspended for five years.

The marriage was allegedly abusive, and in March this year Tania obtained an interdict after the couple argued about a dress that Donnelly told her was “too revealing”.

“On April 3 we both confessed to each other of our past transgressions in the marriage. She informed me that [infidelity] occurred just once on her part with a colleague from her previous employer,” he said in the statement.

He said they reconciled, but then one day when he went to fetch his wife and children she was not there and phone calls to reach her were abruptly cut off.

That night he wrote three suicide notes — to his wife and two children — but didn’t know how to kill himself.

On his way to work on April 6, Donnelly was given a lift by his colleague and left his bag in the car. When he went to fetch it, he saw his colleague’s firearm and stole it.

He confessed to purchasing a bouquet of pink and white roses and taking them to Tania’s workplace, together with the suicide notes.

The statement reveals that the couple went to talk privately in the kitchen where, he said, Tania disclosed that she had had another affair.

“I told her the reason for my visit and she said she will not be coming home.

“An argument ensued and was followed by another revelation of infidelity with a colleague at the municipality.

“I felt betrayed and in a fit of rage I shot at her randomly,” he said.

The post-mortem found that Tania was hit by four bullets. She died in St Anne’s Hospital.

The state accepted the plea, but state advocate Roan du Preez put it to the court that the sentence for the previous conviction had not deterred the accused from commiting crime.

In mitigation of sentence, defence attorney Calvin Singh said the court must consider the fact that his client co-operated fully with the law and that he was remorseful.

“I submit that although there were incidents of infidelity in the past, the new revelations led to shock which manifested itself as anger.

“I’d ask this court to consider concurrency when passing sentence,” said Singh.

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