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Man, 80 ,Gets 4 Years For Killing Wife In Retirement Village

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An 80-year-old man, John Alfred Salter, has been sentenced to four years imprisonment for killing his 78-year-old wife in a retirement village in Mount Maunganui. The sentencing took place at Hamilton High Court before Justice Francis Cooke, with Salter having already spent four months in custody.

No minimum period of imprisonment was imposed, and Salter would be eligible for parole after serving one-third of his sentence. During the sentencing, Justice Cooke encouraged Salter not to lose hope and to start thinking about his future.

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Police were called to Metlifecare's Bayswater retirement village at 6:55 pm on 8th October, where they discovered the body of Jean Salter. Salter pleaded guilty to murdering Jean in their apartment, strangling her with a necktie he had hidden behind a cushion.

According to court documents, Jean gasped "Oh John" several times as he killed her. Salter then attempted to kill himself in the bathroom. When that failed, he contacted a relative and then the police, Stuff reported.

The court documents revealed that the suggestion of Jean going into full-time care caused Salter significant stress and concern about being separated from his wife. Salter claimed to have discussed a suicide pact with Jean in the week leading up to the killing, with Jean reportedly nodding in agreement before forgetting the arrangement.

In preparation for the act, Salter started taking blood thinners. He told the police that he killed Jean because he could not imagine living without her and intended to take his own life to be with her.

Salter has been in custody since his last court appearance in November.

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