A registered gun dealer today denied murdering his corporate lawyer wife who was shot twice in a bedroom of their farmhouse home.
But Peter Hartshorne-Jones, 51, admitted the manslaughter by diminished responsibility of his wife Silke Hartshorne-Jones, 41, as he has a ‘mental health condition’.
He made his pleas by a video link at Ipswich Crown Court in a short hearing on Friday after a psychiatrist acting for him diagnosed him as suffering from a mental health condition.
Silke Hartshorne-Jones, 41, was shot twice at her family’s £600,000 farmhouse where she lived with her gun dealer husband Peter Hartshorne-Jones in Barham, Suffolk
Lawyer Silke Hartshorne-Jones was shot at her family’s 17th century Grade II-listed Chestnut Farm in Barham, near Ipswich, Suffolk on May 3, where she lived with her husband Peter Hartshorne-Jones.
Prosecutor Peter Gair said that the prosecution intended to get their own psychiatrist to examine him and draw up a report.
The hearing was adjourned until October 15 to allow a decision to be made on whether to hold a murder trial
Hartshorne-Jones allegedly called police at 4.45am on May 3 to report that he had shot his German-born wife.
Her husband, Peter Hartshorne-Jones, 51, admitted to manslaughter by diminished responsibility but NOT murder of his wife as he has a ‘mental health condition’. Pictured, Police were called to the farmhouse in Barham at around 4.45am on May 3
Police found her in a critical condition with two shotgun wounds in a bedroom.
She was taken by ambulance to Ipswich Hospital where she was pronounced dead at 6.40am the same day.
Hartshorne-Jones allegedly told police: ‘I am sorry, I don’t know what came over me’.
He was said to have stated later: ‘I didn’t mean to kill her’.
At the time of his wife’s death, he sold vintage shotguns for game shooting and ran a recruitment agency hiring staff for the catering industry.
Lawyer Silke Hartshorne-Jones lived with her husband at her family’s 17th century Grade II-listed Chestnut Farm in Barham, near Ipswich, Suffolk
His website called Hartshorne Fine English Shotguns said he sold ‘the finest sporting English and Scottish shotguns.’
Mrs Hartshorne-Jones worked as a lawyer for technology company K2 Partnering Solutions.
Her Linked In profile described her job as being in charge of the company’s ‘legal and compliance function’ across Europe.
Neighbours said that she used to commute to work, leaving her £600,000 home at 5.30am every weekday and not returning until the evening, but she had been at home since lockdown started.