David and Jill Sadler

Grandfather who confessed to smothering ‘nasty, abusive’ wife acquitted of murder, gets waves from jurors as he leaves courtroom

A man who admitted to killing his wife in a drunken rage was convicted of manslaughter but acquitted of a more serious murder charge, the DailyMail reports.

The defendant, 62-year-old David Sadler, confessed to strangling and smothering his 58-year-old wife, Jill, with a pillow in February at their home just outside of Liverpool, England.

Jurors on Friday returned the verdict, with some waving at Sadler as they exited the courtroom.

A key thread in the tragic case was one of the couple’s children, Joanne Reszczynski, who died from lung cancer in January at the age of 34.

Sadler said he believed his wife’s mean-spirited behavior toward their daughter prompted her to die sooner than expected. He added he was “mentally broken” and “just lost control.”

“I just snapped,” Sadler told authorities. “She caused the death of my daughter. I was just fed up with all the pressure”

“The way she treated a weak, diminished person, she didn’t deserve it. I thought it brought her death on earlier than what possibly could have took its own toll.”

Attorneys in the case presented evidence that Jill had a drinking problem and could often be “sharp or difficult.” When Joanne was told that her cancer was terminal, she left the hospital so she could spend a final Christmas with her young daughters.

Joanne drafted a will that said if anything might happen to her husband, a friend of the family would raise the children.

That prompted Jill to say: “Why farm the f***ing grandkids off to people outside the family?”

Joanne subsequently said she didn’t want to see her mother anymore and prevented her from participating in the wake or riding in her funeral car.

Sadler told that jury he loved his wife, but that her drinking changed her and she could get “very aggressive, very nasty, abusive and uncaring.” She had previously punched and slapped him and thrown various objects at him, he alleged.

According to Sadler, Jill wasn’t happy with how much time he spent caring for his parents and told him that she hopes he dies “a terrible death.”

On the night of the killing, Sadler and his wife had gone out drinking and he consumed more than 10 pints of beer. The two came home at separate times. Sadler said Jill later struck him with a television remote control but he couldn’t remember what happened after that.

Injuries to Jill’s hands indicated she “desperately” sought to fight Sadler, according to the prosecutor who argued the case was “murder, plain and simple.”

Sadler said he had a flashback in prison of him “squeezing my wife’s throat.”

The jury weighed whether Sadler sought to kill his wife or really just meant to cause serious harm. Jurors deliberated for more than three and a half hours and decided unanimously that while Sadler had committed manslaughter, which he acknowledged, he was not guilty of murder.

As Sadler thanked the jury when they exited the courtroom, some members of the panel smiled back and waved.

Sadler is in custody and is scheduled to be sentenced Monday.

[Feature Photo: David and Jill Sadler/Merseyside Police]