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Brit Strangles Wife During Nightmare

Prosecutors believe him, seek verdict of insanity
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 18, 2009 12:47 PM CST

(Newser) – A British man admits he strangled his wife but swears he did it while having a nightmare. Prosecutors have accepted his explanation, backed up by a battery of medical tests documenting a sleep disorder. Instead of pursuing a murder conviction, they want a jury to declare that he acted during a moment of insanity so he can be detained indefinitely in a psychiatric facility. The defense is pushing for a full acquittal.

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“What have I done?” Brian Thomas, 59, cries in a recording of a 4am call to police, the Guardian reports. “I've been trying to wake her. I think I've killed my wife. Oh my God. I thought someone had broken in. I was fighting with those boys but it was Christine. I must have been dreaming or something. What have I done?” (Read more Brian Thomas stories.)

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