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A woman convicted of manslaughter after killing her terminally ill partner at their home in north London has received a 12 month custodial sentence, suspended for two years.
Joyce Evans, 69 (26.2.44) of Iberia House, New Orleans Walk, Hornsey Rise N19 suffocated and strangled Colin Ballinger, 66 (11.1.46) in July last year.
She was arrested at the address and later charged with murder by detectives from the Homicide and Serious Crime Command, following advice from the Crown Prosecution Service.
Evans pleaded not guilty, but after a trial at the Old Bailey, she was convicted of manslaughter on 8 April.
She was sentenced at the Old Bailey today, Friday 17 May.
Mr Ballinger began a relationship with Evans after separating from his wife and moved into her flat at Iberia House. They also separated in 2006 or 2007 and Mr Ballinger moved out. But in 2012 he became ill and he moved back in with Evans.
Mr Ballinger was diagnosed with chronic alcoholic cirrhosis, which was terminal. He was practically bed ridden and sometimes needed full time care, which was provided by Evans.
There was no history of domestic violence between the couple.
It was at 22.30hrs on 30 July 2012 that Evans banged on the door of a neighbour and said, "I think I've killed him, he was getting on my nerves. Call an ambulance."
The London Ambulance Service was called and police were alerted.
Mr Ballinger was found on the living room floor, unconscious and not breathing.
Officers who attended were told by Evans, "I killed him." When asked how she said, "I held a bag over his head."
Paramedics resuscitated Mr Ballinger and he was transported to Whittington Hospital. He was placed in the ITU department but despite the best efforts of the medical staff he died at 06.46hrs on 31 July 2012.
A post-mortem examination gave cause of death as compression of the neck and plastic bag asphyxia.
When interviewed by police, Evans claimed that in the last five months Mr Ballinger had asked her what tablets she had in order to end his life, and had asked for assistance in ending his life. She claimed she never assisted him in any way.
She said that on the day of his death, she saw Mr Ballinger out of the bed and lying on his back on the floor. As she approached she reportedly asked, 'Let me help you, do you want me to do this?'
She was unable to agree whether or not he remained silent or commented.
She went to the kitchen and took one or two large carrier bags from a cupboard. She placed one over his head to the neck and held it there. Evans then alerted a neighbour.
In interview she told police that she had no intention of killing Mr Ballinger.
Acting Detective Inspector Jason Prendergast of the Homicide and Serious Crime Command said: "Although terminally ill, Mr Ballinger was denied the chance for his life to come to a natural conclusion. This is a tragic case and it illustrates that a so-called 'mercy killing' is not a defence in law, and there is no statute to prevent those that carry out this type of offence from facing a jury."