Mr Brian Flannery was convicted of 2nd Degree Manslaughter today at Peckham Crown Court, receiving a 5 year suspended sentence for the accidental death of his wife, Gloria Flannery, by toxic suffocation, after he gave her a 'Dutch Oven' that went, as the Judge described it, 'horribly, horribly wrong'.
The case for the prosecution argued for the charge of Murder, putting it to the court that, late one weekday evening as Mrs Flannery was reading a Jackie Collins novel in bed and unwinding for sleep, she was suddenly and forcibly pinned under the duvet by Mr Flannery, who sealed the edges with his weight while simultaneously releasing an enormous bolus of flatulence, which displaced all the available oxygen so that Mrs Flannery passed out nearly instantly, and was dead within 30 seconds.
Arguing for the defence, Mr Cavendish QC, stated that Mr Flannery was deeply upset and regretful. The incident was intended as a light-hearted practical joke, indeed it was the first time Mr Flannery had even tried what is commonly known on the street as a 'Dutch Oven', and even then only after hearing some friends talking one evening in the pub after five-a-side football, about 'doing it' to their wives 'all the time'.
They argued that Mr Flannery had miscalculated two crucial factors which led to the tragic outcome. The first being Mrs Flannery's military tucking in of the 600 weight cotton sheets when she made the bed that morning, which created a near airtight seal . Secondly, Mr Flannery had neglected to remember that he had attended a long business lunch at an Indian restaurant on Brick Lane that day, at which he had consumed a dozen onion Bajees, eight Poppadom, six Samosas, and an extra large beef Vindaloo with garlic naan, all washed down with 8 pints of Guinness beer. The resulting trapped wind, which he released within a 6 inch proximity of Mrs Flannery's face, came in at around 6 litres gas of 95% methane by volume.
During sentencing, the judge, The Hon Dame Roberts, said, "I accept that you did not intend that your wife should die in this manner, and I note both your grief and regret, which is why I will suspend your sentence on the grounds of time already served. Nonetheless, the conviction remains, in the hope that you will be an example to other husbands and boyfriends across the UK, and a ray of light to their long suffering wives and girlfriends, that this frankly gross, and often dangerous practice can no longer be taken lightly, or risk facing such tragic consequences as you have."
Outside the court, an emotional and weary Mr Flannery said, "I am truly very sorry for what I did to my wife, and living with the guilt of what I done is punishment enough. I just hope that others will learn from my mistake. I swear, I will never, ever fart in a woman's face again. At least, not in private."