Hornsey Rise gran who smothered her former partner with a spurs bag escapes jail term.

Iberia House, where Joyce Evans lived with Colin Ballinger

Iberia House, where Joyce Evans lived with Colin Ballinger - Credit: Archant

A gran who smothered her terminally-ill former partner with a Tottenham Hotspur plastic bag escaped a jail term yesterday.

Joyce Evans, 69, was given a 12 month sentence suspended for two years at the Old Bailey after being found guilty of the manslaughter of Colin Ballinger, 66, at the home they shared in Hornsey Rise.

Evans was the sole carer for Mr Ballinger, a former soldier, who had alcoholic cirrhosis of the liver and had been told he only had a years to live.

He was practically bed-ridden at their flat in Iberia House, New Orleans Walk, off Hornsey Lane.

Evans had agreed to care for Mr Ballinger in his final months as he had nowhere else to turn, but found it hard to cope.

She is said to have strangled Mr Ballinger and put plastic bags over his head before knocking on a neighbour’s door and saying: “I think I’ve killed Colin. He was getting on my nerves.”

When concerned neighbours went to help, Mr Ballinger was found lying on his back on the living room of the flat in Iberia House, New Orleans Walk, with blood coming from the side of his head.

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Evans went back into the flat and was seen kneeling down next to Mr Ballinger, telling him: “Don’t worry babe, baby, go to sleep,” the jury was told.

She is also alleged to have closed his eyes, saying: “You’re better off like this.”

Paramedics tried to revive Mr Ballinger but Evans, who had been drinking vodka and appeared intoxicated, tried to stop them, saying: “Leave him alone, he’s dead, he’s gone.”

Judge Gerald Gordon gave Evans, who had served the equivalent of 19 months awaiting trial, said: “You had to provide constant and arduous care in increasingly difficult circumstances.

“With the enormous benefit of hindsight and knowledge, far more active intervention was necessary to get you out of the situation you were in.

“But it has to be said that the main reason that did not happen was that you never really revealed the scale of the problem to others.”

Acting Det Ins Jason Prendergast said: “Although terminally ill, Mr Ballinger was denied the chance for his life to come to a natural conclusion. This is a tragic case and it illustrates that a so-called ‘mercy killing’ is not a defence in law, and there is no statute to prevent those that carry out this type of offence from facing a jury.”