10/01/2012

VN's husband convicted of murder

The husband of murdered veterinary nurse Julie Tottle was jailed for life after Bristol Crown Court rejected his claim of diminished responsibility and convicted him of her murder on January 9, 2012.

The husband of murdered veterinary nurse Julie Tottle was jailed for life after Bristol Crown Court rejected his claim of diminished responsibility and convicted him of her murder on January 9, 2012.

Stephen Hotson was convicted of murder on January 9 at Bristol Crown Court.Steven Hotson, 45, beat his wife to death with a vacuum cleaner pipe at their home in Crookes Lane, Kewstoke, near Weston-Super-Mare last July. Julie, 51, received more than 60 injuries in the attack, including fractures to her skull, ribs, eye sockets and jaw.

Julie worked at Green Pastures Veterinary Centre in Weston-Super-Mare from when the practice was established in 1998. She performed various roles at the practice, including nurse, receptionist and administrator.

After the murder Hotson (pictured right) attempted to burn the house down. When prevented from doing so by Julie's brother Mark Tottle, Hotson threw himself from a first floor window. Mr Tottle, who had gone to the cottage after hearing that Julie had not turned up to work, discovered his sister's body on the floor and Hotson trying to start a fire.

Victim: Julie TottleHotson had admitted to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility as a result of suffering from depression, but Bristol Crown Court rejected the claim and convicted him of murder on January 9, 2012.

Handing Hotson a life term with a minimum of 14 years in jail, judge Neil Ford said: "You acted in a rage as a result of your wife telling you there was no future in your relationship and that you should leave immediately. Julie Tottle had stood by you even when your behaviour towards her became abusive. She stood by you and attempted to assist you during periods in which you were ill.

"Finally, it is clear, she was ground down by your behaviour and couldn't take any more. You killed her in a brutal and sustained attack, during which she was trying to fend off the blows you were inflicting with a metal tube. You have taken the life of a loyal wife and of a good person. The effect upon her family has been totally devastating."

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