A ST HELENS man, who strangled his alcoholic wife to death, was this afternoon (Wednesday) cleared of her murder.

Stuart Robertson, who had admitted the unlawful killing off his 62-year-old wife Dawn, was on the verge of tears of relief when the jury at Liverpool Crown Court found him not guilty of the more serious offence.

The jurors, who returned their unanimous verdict after just over two hours deliberations, heard how he had snapped during a row after she told him he was not their son’s dad.

Judge Andrew Menary, KC, the Recorder of Liverpool, adjourned sentence tomorrow and said that his provisional view was that it was manslaughter on the grounds of loss of control.

During the week long trial the court heard that there was a long history of police call outs to the couple’s home in Cannon Street, Clock Face prior to the tragedy on November 15 last year.

On that day the 69-year old tee-total defendant walked into St Helens police station and confessed to killing the mum-of-two a few hours earlier.

Robertson, a retired warehouse manager, said that Dawn, who was his second wife, used to drink two to two and a half bottles of brandy every day and would start drinking as soon as she got up in the mornings.

That day she verbally abused him and came towards him pointing her finger at him and said he was her slave. When he told her he was going to the home of their son, Michael, she said he was not his son and at that moment in time he believed her.

He put his hands around her neck and squoze “and the next thing I knew she was dead.”

Robertson said she looked uncomfortable so he dragged her to the floor and put a pillow under her head and a crucifix in her hand.

Asked why he had strangled her he said: ”I had just wanted her to shut up with the abuse, that’s all I wanted to do.”