Portuguese pensioner walks free after killing Alzheimer sufferer wife

A French court has freed a Portuguese emigré who killed his Alzheimer sufferer wife after caring for her for a decade.

José Albuquerque gave 70-year-old Arminda “an excessive dose of sleeping pills”. He was originally charged with premeditated murder, but during the trial the prosecutor “changed his opinion”, praising the role of carers and the difficulty of dealing with loved ones with Alzheimer’s.

Albuquerque was given a two-year suspended sentence in what national tabloid Correio da Manhã has described as an “unprecedented decision”.

The paper gives the closing arguments by prosecutor Christian Fayel in which he said: “There was the intention to kill, but I am not going to ask that Sr Albuquerque goes to prison. He was always at his wife’s side caring for her but simply could not face getting to the end. It is a tragedy, something had to happen”.

Albuquerque’s defence lawyer Thierry Gross described his client’s “ten years of sacrifice” after which he had the “compassion to choose sleeping pills.

“It was a gentle way. She fell asleep and left”, Gross told the court.

CM adds that Albuquerque was facing a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

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