Hornsey Rise grandmother who killed former partner with Spurs plastic bag is found guilty of manslaughter

Two men appeared at the Old Bailey yesterday

Two men appeared at the Old Bailey yesterday - Credit: PA Wire/Press Association Images

A grandmother who suffocated her terminally-ill former partner with a Tottenham Hotspur plastic bag is facing jail after being convicted of his manslaughter.

Joyce Evans, 69, was the sole carer for Colin Ballinger, 66, who was housebound at the flat they shared in Hornsey Rise after being diagnosed with alcoholic cirrhosis of the liver and being told he had a year to live.

A jury at the Old Bailey today found her guilty of manslaughter but she was cleared of murdering the former soldier at their home in Iberia House, New Orleans Walk, off Hornsey Lane.

Mr Ballinger had asked Evans for help having had nowhere else to turn in the six months before his death on July 30 last year. She agreed to care for him at her flat, but found it increasingly difficult to cope.

The court was told during the trial that Evans, who suffered from depression and a personality disorder, had thought of killing herself by jumping from her balcony or overdosing on Mr Ballinger’s morphine tablets.

But she instead began to focus on her former partner as the cause of her problems.

Forensic psychiatrist Dr Piyal Sen said: “She had tried every other means to take care of the problem. She felt trapped with no way out.

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“She chose to take care of it in a way which was irrational.”

Jurors heard she strangled ex-soldier Mr Ballinger with enough force to fracture his voice box and put plastic bags over his head before knocking on a neighbour’s door and saying: “I think I’ve killed Colin. He was getting on my nerves.”

Zoe Johnson, prosecuting, said paramedics tried to revive Mr Ballinger but Evans, who had been drinking vodka and appeared intoxicated, tried to stop them, saying: “Leave him alone, he’s dead, he’s gone.”

Mr Ballinger was taken to hospital died the next morning.

After the verdict, she was remanded in custody to be sentenced on May 13.

Judge Gerald Gordon warned Evans that all options were open.